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Israel 2000 "Dinosaur, Judean Hills"

Issue Date 05.12.2000
ID Michel: 1576-1578 Scott: 1421-1423 Stanley Gibbons: 1501-1503 Yvert: 1507-1509 UPU: Category: pR
Author Designer: Tuvia. Kurz
Stamps in set 3
Value NIS 2.20 x 3
Size (width x height) 30.8 x 30.8 mm
Layout MS of 9 stamps and 3 tabs
Products FDC x2 MS x1 Booklet x1
Print Technique

Offset, multi-color

Printed by Government Printers
Issuing Authority Israel Post
Dinosaur on stamp of Israeel 2000

The dinosaurs (terrible lizards) constitute two different groups of extinct reptiles, derived from a common ancestor and together with other groups like crocodiles, birds and other extinct reptiles, share unique anatomical features.

The dinosaurs appeared on earth during the Triassic period, 235 million years ago and continued to exist to the end of the Mezosoic (end of the Cretaceus ) era, when all of them, 65 million years ago, became extinct together with many other groups of organisms. The common explanation of this mass extinction is probably due to a massive impact of an asteroid with the face of the earth, the consequence of which was a worldwide catastrophe to life.

During most of their existence on earth (around 170 million years) the dinosaurs dominated most of the continental habitats, were wide spread all over the continents and fed on a broad spectrum of diets (from feeding on leaves to engaging a ferocious predatory behavior).Some of them became highly socialized, laid eggs in bird-like nests ad protected their youngsters. Some others achieved huge dimensions of the body-size.

Dinosaur footprints discovered in Beit Zayit, Israel

Dinosaur footprints discovered in Beit Zayit are on display at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dinosaur on postmark of Israeel 2000In the settlements of Beit Zait near Jerusalem,footprints of some dinosaurs were found, which belong to a group of agile animals, running on their hind limbs, which their forelimbs were relatively very small, never used for locomotion, but rather helped then to grasp food or prey. The late Prof. M. Avnimelech from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem identified those footprints as belonging to the genusStruthiomymus (=ostrich-like). Indeed, the reconstruction of the animal (exhibited in the backyard of the department of Geology in the Hebrew University) shows a close artificial similarity with ostriches and their capability for a high-speed locomotion.Yet, contrary with all other birds, its body was covered with horny scales, showed no teeth in its jaws, which was covered with a horny sharp sheath and fed on leaves. The Beit Zait dinosaur was relatively small (150 kg, 4 meters long).

Related species of the same age were described from North America and Mongolia. Until now, no dinosaur bones were found in Israel, but the footprints of Beit Zait show that a band of this species ran about the shoreline of the old Tethys ocean which, at that time, covered the coasts of the Middle East.

Prof. Eitan Tsrenov, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem


Dinosaur on FDC of Israeel 2000

Dinosaur on FDC of Israeel 2000
Dinosaur on stamp booklet of Israeel 2000

References: MapLandia Israel Philatelic Federation


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