Germany 2011 "150 years of discovery prehistoric bird Archaeopteryx"

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Issue Date 11.08.2011
ID Michel: 2887 Scott: Stanley Gibbons: Yvert: UPU: N/A Category: pF
Author Julia Warbanow, Berlin
Stamps in set 1
Value Euro 0.55 Archaeopteryx (can be used for regular mail exchange inside Germany)
Size (width x height) 35mm x 35mm
Products FDC x1 MS x1 SS x1
Layout MS of 10 stamps (2x5)
Paper stroke, white, fluoresce, special post paper DP 2
Perforation 13x13
Print Technique Multicolor offset print
Printed by Bagel Security-Print GmbH & Co.KG, Moenchengladbach
Issuing Authority Deutsche Post
<em>Archaeopteryx</em> stamp of Germany 2011

The prehistoric bird Archaeopteryx is one of the most famous fossils in the World. It was described in 1861 based on one feather cast. Later on, when more complete specimens had been found, this fossil became important evidence for the Theory of Evolution. As an intermediate species from dinosaurs to birds, Archaeopteryx has both bird-like and reptile-like character traits in its skeleton. The ancestor of Archaeopteryx was a small predatory dinosaur. All fossils of Archaeopteryx found so far come from the Solnhofen Plattenkalken at the Fraenkischen Jura regions of the state of Bavaria, Germany. They are approximately 150 million years old. The most exemplary fossil is stored at the Museum fuer Naturkunde in Berlin.

The design of both stamp and coin chosen was actually the winner of a competition. Other stamp candidates include:
Draft of Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011

The second prize submission depicts the 1861 feather, but none of the submissions depicted the 1861 skeleton. The Berlin specimen, although not discovered until 1876, was the winning submission. On August 11, 2011, the Deutsche Post issued a single stamp to commemorate 150 years of since the discovery of Archaeopteryx (printed in mini-sheets of 10 stamps). The best fossil of Archaeopteryx appears in many pictures and illustrations of paelontology-related books is the Berlin Specimen, which is also depicted on the stamp. The Berlin specimen is stored at the "Berliner-Museum fuer Naturkunde".

Archaeopteryx fossil stamp of DDR GDR 1973 Archaeopteryx on stamp of GDR from 1973

These fossil was already depicted on a stamp of GDR in 1973 as part of stamp set of 6 values, showing various fossils from the museum collection.
The initial discovery, a single feather, was unearthed in 1860 or 1861 and described in 1861 by Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer. It is currently located at the Humboldt Museum fuer Naturkunde in Berlin.
This is generally assigned to Archaeopteryx and was the initial holotype, but whether it actually is a feather of this species or another, as yet undiscovered, proto-bird is unknown. There are some indications it is indeed not from the same animal as most of the skeletons.
Werner von Siemens on stamp of Germany 1992 Werner von Siemens on German stamp from 1990

The Berlin Specimen was discovered in 1874 or 1875 on the Blumenberg near Eichstaett, Germany, by farmer Jakob Niemeyer. He sold this precious fossil for the money to buy a cow in 1876, to inn-keeper Johann Doerr, who again sold it to Ernst Otto Haeberlein, the son of K. Haeberlein. Placed on sale between 1877 and 1881, with potential buyers including O.C. Marsh of Yale University's Peabody Museum, it was eventually bought by the Humboldt Museum fuer Naturkunde, where it is now displayed, for 20,000 Goldmark.
The transaction was financed by Ernst Werner von Siemens (depicted on several German stamps), founder of the famous company that bears his name. Described in 1884 by Wilhelm Dames, it is the most complete specimen, and the first with a complete head. It was in 1897 named by Dames as a new species, Archaeopteryx siemensii; a recent evaluation supports the Archaeopteryx siemensii species identification.
Some paleontologists say that Archaeopteryx is not the first bird, but the last flying dinosaur.

Products and associated philatelic items

There are two postmarks issued with this stamp: the postmark of Berlin was used on the official FDC of Deutsche Post, while the postmark of Bonn was used on the Souvenir Sheet.
Three additional postmarks issued by Deutsche for some other location that have some connection to Archaeopteryx: Solnhofen - the vilage where all Archaeopteryx fossils are found. Eichstaett - a small town near Solnhofen, has an impressive museum of natural history with many fossils found in the area, including Archaeopteryx. Dino Park Muenchenhagen at Rehburg-Loccum - the biggest park with life-size replicas of Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in Germany.

Mini Sheet
Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011

Official FDC Personalized FDC
Archaeopteryx on FDC of Germany 2011 Archaeopteryx on FDC of Germany 2011
Some used covers
Used cover with Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011 Used cover with Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011
Some Souvenir Sheets
Souvenir Sheet with Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011 Souvenir Sheet with Archaeopteryx stamp of Germany 2011

References: Wikipedia Souvenir Sheet

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