British Antarctic Territory 2008 "Fossil Ferns from the Antarctic"

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Issue Date 17.11.2008
ID Michel: 475-478, Scott: 401-404, Stanley Gibbons: , Yvert et Tellier: 472-475, Category: pF
Author Designer: CASCO Studio; Photographs: British Antarctic Survey
Stamps in set 4
Values 55p - Lophosoria cupulatus, Cantrill - Snow Island
65p - Cladophlebis oblonga, Halle - Alexander Island
1.10 - Aculea acicularis, Cantrill - Alexander Island
1.10 - Pachypteris indica - Snow Island
Emission/Type commemorative
Issue place Signy
Size (width x height) 28.45mm x 42.58mm
Layout Sheet of 20 (2 x 10)
Products FDC x1
Paper watermarked CA Spiral
Perforation 14
Print Technique Lithography
Printed by BDT International Security Printing Ltd
Issuing Authority The Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau
Plant fossils on stamps of British Antarctic Territory 2008

On 17th November, 2008, The Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau, on behalf the British Antarctic Territory, issued the stamps set "Fossil Ferns from the Antarctic".

Antarctica is extremely important to the science of geology because it formed the centre of an ancient supercontinent called Gondwana which also included South America, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The study of Antarctic rocks and fossils therefore helps geologists to understand the geological histories of all the southern continents.
Gondwana started to break up 180 million years ago and the separate continents drifted apart on different tectonic plates over the next 150 million years. Geologists are still uncertain exactly how the breakup took place and some suggest it was caused by abnormally hot upwellings of magma, or mantle plumes from deep below the Earth's surface.

The British Antarctic Survey holds an extensive collection of Antarctic Fossils and those featured on this set of postage stamps are Pteridophyta (ferns). Snow Island is part of the South Shetlands archipelago, a chain of islands extending over 500km, separated from the nearby Antarctic Peninsula by the Bransfield Strait and from South America by the Drake Passage. Both fossil ferns featured on stamps were found at President Head on Snow Island. Many important fossil finds have been made at Alexander Island; both our featured fossils were discovered at Coal Nunatak.


FDC Guitar pair
Plant fossils on FDC of British Antarctic Territory 2008 Plant fossils on stamps of British Antarctic Territory 2008
The first day cover design features Two Step Cliffs on the mid-eastern side of Alexander Island, the location of a long-term research site.

References: on Facebook - Welcome to join !
Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau (the article doesn't exist anymore), British Antarctic Survey

Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for his help to find an information for this article, the draft page review and his very valuable comments.

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