"The Coastal Dinosaur Finds In West Istria"
Stanley Gibbons: 267-268,
Yvert et Tellier: 224-225,
||Dr. Toni Nikolic
biologist from Zagreb
|Stamps in set
||4000 HRD - reconstruction and skeleton of Iguanodon with map of Istria
2400 HRD - reconstruction of Iguanodon
|Places of issue
|Size (width x height)
||29,8mm x 35,5mm
||Sheet of 20 stamps (4x5):
2 stripes of 2 es-tenant stamps per row
||white 90g, gummed
||"Zrinski" - Cakovec
||The Croatian Post and Telecommunications
On March 7th
1994, Croatian Post and Telecommunications issued the set of two
se-tenant stamps "The Coastal Dinosaur Finds In West Istria" depicting a
reconstruction and a skeleton of the dinosaur Iguanodon
The place where these fossils were found is shown on the cachet of the FDC.
These stamps were issued to commemorate the start of international multidisciplinary research
(Croatian-Italian) of dinosaur's bones and tracks
discovered near the town of Rovinji on the Istria Peninsula.
The following text is a combination of texts published by Croatian Post in 1994.
Although animal fossils have been studied for centuries, the dinosaurs remained
mostly hidden until rather recently.
In the 1840s
when Sir Richard Owen
was studying the reptile fossils discovered in England, he concluded they could not be
compared to the living reptiles.
He hypothesized that their size and appearance must have been fearsome and
thus coined the word "dinosaur" from two Greek words "deimos"
(fearsome) and "sauros" (reptile, lizard).
The first dinosaurs appeared about 230-225 million years ago and were to dominate the
earth foralmost 170 million years.
They suddenly vanished 65 million years ago at the turn of the Cretaceous Period
to the Paleogene Period.
The site in the seabed south of Rovinj is so far (1994) the only one on the Istria
peninsula, and according to information in the wider Mediterranean area, where dinosaur
bones were discovered.
The territory of present-day Istria was frequented by dinosaurs for 30 million years.
The rocks in which their footprints have been found belong to
the same geological age but range from 120 to 190 million years old.
The location where the fossils were found is shown on the cachet of the FDC.
The site is located on the islands of the coast of the Istria Peninsula near the
city of Pula. The location is marked with a red spot.
The first footprints were discovered on the island of Fenoliga
(a small island south of
the Istria Peninsula) in 1975 by Mr. Gogala.
Several authors have written about the footprints at the site - they recognize two
types of footprints, some of which may belong to the ornithopod dinosaurs or
carnosaurid dinosaurs and a second group that resemble the modern Ostrich's footprints
that are likely Ornithominids.
Recent research (1990), however, describe only one type of footprint, which belongs
to the Sauropod group and is 90 million years old.
On the island of Veli Brijun
, the island to the southwest of the Istria Peninsula,
to the northwest of the city of Pula (the largest city on the peninsula), dinosaur
footprints have been found at three locations in rocks of different geological age.
Near the tip of Pogledalo, they are 120 million years old, while on PljeSivac and Ploöe
date from the Albian Age (100 million years).
The impressions of Veli Brijun have long attracted the attention of scientists.
In 1925, they were studied by A. Bachofen-Echt,
who assigned the footprints to an herbivorous dinosaur in the Iguanodidae
(Iguanodon was 5 meters tell and 8 meters long).
Today we have some doubts about the accuracy of this conclusion.
In addition to the Iguanodon footprints, there are also prints of an
In Öervar Bay, traces of dinosaurs have recently been discovered that have not yet been
In 1993, at the mouth of the Mirna, a dinosaur footprint was
discovered in rocks dated to the Albian Age.
Everything leads to believe that these footprints belong to the group Theropoda.
The Podmorje deposit, south of Rovinj
, is until now the only one in
Istria and, to our knowledge, the only one in the Mediterranean.
In general, where dinosaur bones have been discovered,
they were found by chance, which is not surprising, since this deposit is submarine.
So far, no more detailed research has been conducted on this deposit.
A small number of bones were analyzed in Italian laboratories.
Thus, leg bones, ribs, vertebrae, pelvic bone, etc. were identified.
There are still too few specimens to identify the species of this animal.
It is assumed that this deposit contains the bones of several specimens or groups of dinosaurs.
The age of the rocks in which the bones are located is estimated at 120 million years old.
In 1994, a team of experts from Croatia's Scientific Institutions and Faculties, as
well as Scientists from the Institute for Scientific Research in Zagreb and Italian
Scientists worked on multidisciplinary research on these fossils.
This research would lead to the reconstitution of these animals and to the description
of the environment in which they lived, paleoecological conditions that prevailed in
the territory of lstria at the time when the dinosaurs lived there.
Products and associated philatelic items
||First Day Sheet (with text in Croatian and French)
||Examples of Circulated Covers
||Additional Postmarks "Dinosaurs from Western Istria"
Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, and the seventh-largest city in
the country, situated at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula.
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice
, PhD Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences,
Western Michigan University, USA, for his help in finding information and for review draft page of the article.