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Aland 1996 "Fossils"

Issue Date 09.10.1996
ID Michel: 117-118 Scott: 85, 106 Stanley Gibbons: 113-114 Yvert: 118-119 UPU: N/A Category: pF
Author Anna-Maaret Pitknen-Darmark
Stamps in set 2
Value MK 0,40- Trilobiet Asaphus
MK 9,00- Gastropode 'Euomophalus' should read 'Euomphalus'.
Emmision definitive
Size (width x height) 25mm x 45mm
Layout Two sheets 20 stamp each (4x5)
Products FDC x1
Perforation 14,75
Print Technique Offset, multicolor

Printed by The House of Questa
Quantity 600,000, 800,000
Issuing Authority Aland Posten
Trilobite and Gastropode fossils on stamps of Aland 1996

On October 9th, 1996 Post Authority of Aland - Aland Posten - issued a set of 2 definitive stamps, shows some fossils found on the islands.

Jomala Island - the best place to look for fossils at Aland
Jomala Island - the best place to look for fossils at Aland -(Aland 2011)
On the Aland islands between Sweden and Finland in the Baltic sea, you can find fossils from the Ordovician period. This is a only place in Finland where you can find fossils. This fossils can be seen in University Museum in Helsinki. East of the main island there is a 9 kilometre diameter crater (Lumparn). This crater was formed by a meteor or comet impact 1200 to 500 milion years ago. It is possible to go to the Finnish Aland Islands by ferry from the Swedish or the Finnish mainland. The best spot to collect fossils is Yttern's on the Jomala island. The finds consist of trilobites and gastropods from the Ordovician period. Some farmers allow to tourist to collect fossils on their fields at Ordovician limestone blocks. Many farmers, however, don't like collectors and soon it will be also illegal export fossils for Finland.
It takes six to ten years of higher education to become a paleontologist, which is a scientist who studies fossils. Some students can apply for college scholarships through organizations like the Matthew Neuenhaus Foundation. The cost of college is so high, especially for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees, that scholarships from the Matthew Neuenhaus Foundation are a necessity for some paleontology students.

The Aland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingual Swedish-speaking region of Finland. The first Aland stamps were issued 1 March 1984. Approximately 15 stamps describing the Aland nature, culture, history, society and autonomy are issued every year. Stamps of Aland can be used both for internal and international post services.

The stamps are depicting two fossils an Gastropoda gastropods (snails and slugs) Euomophalus and a Trilobite (Trilobita asaphus).
Asaphus, Ordovicia Trilobites on stamps of Aland 1996
Asaphus is a genus of Ordovicia Trilobites.
Trilobites (meaning "three lobes") are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods form the class Trilobita.
The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period (521 million years ago), and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction when, during the Devonian, all trilobite orders except Proetida died out. Trilobites finally disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 250 million years ago. The trilobites were among the most successful of all early animals, roaming the oceans for over 270 million years.
Trilobites had many life styles; some moved over the sea-bed as predators, scavengers or filter feeders and some swam, feeding on plankton.
The exoskeleton is composed of calcite and calcium phosphate minerals in a protein lattice of chitin that covers the upper surface (dorsal) of the trilobite and curled round the lower edge to produce a small fringe called the "doublure". Three distinctive tagmata (sections) are present (can be easiely seen on the stamp): cephalon (head); thorax (body) and pygidium (tail).
Euomphalus, marine gastropodaon stamp of Aland 1996
Euomphalus is a genus of fossil marine gastropods known to have lived from the Silurian to the Middle Permian.
The Gastropoda or gastropods, more commonly known as snails and slugs, are a large taxonomic class within the phylum Mollusca. The class Gastropoda includes snails and slugs of all kinds and all sizes from microscopic to large. There are many thousands of species of sea snails and sea slugs, as well as freshwater snails, freshwater limpets, land snails and land slugs.
Euomphalus is characterized by a closely coiled shell with a depressed to slightly elevated spire and a channel-bearing angulation (a selenizone) on the upper surface of the whorls. The lower surface of the whorls is rounded to angular.

FDC (also available with individual stamps), back side of the FDC FDC (Mailed FDC from Aland to Germany: back side of the FDC)

Trilobite and Gastropode fossils on FDC of Aland 1996

Trilobite and Gastropode fossils on used FDC of Aland 1996

Pairs: two mini sheets of the same stamps are printed as one sheet, then cut in two. Mini Sheet

Trilobite and Gastropode fossils on stamps of Aland 1996

Trilobite and Gastropode fossils on MS of Aland 1996

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to "From My Philately" community of Facebook, for active help to find information about these stamps.

References: Wikipedia: [1], [2],, The Fossil Forum.


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