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Marshall Islands 2015 "Dinosaur Bones"

Issue Date 15.01.2015
ID Michel: Scott: Stanley Gibbons: Yvert: UPU: Category: pR
Author Original Artwork: Bryan Kneale
Stamps in set 4
Value c34 - Triceratops
c34 - Stegosaurus
c34 - Protoceratops
c34 - Tyrannosaurus
Emmision commemorative
Places of issue Majuro
Size (width x height) 10mm x 31 mm ; Sheet size 184mm y 152mm
Layout Sheet of 16 stamps
Products none
Paper unwatermarked gummed paper
Print Technique Black, cyan, magenta, yellow by offset lithography
Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.A.
Issuing Authority
dinosaurs on stamps of Marshall Islands 2015

According to stamp issue program of Marshal Islands's post authority these stamps are planned for January 15, but appeared in official online store of their distributor on beginning of March. First time seen in Internet auction at the end of February. Real issue date is in doubt.

The stamps are based on artwork originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Great Britain Owen's Dinosauria stamps issued August 20, 1991.
Great Britain Owen's Dinosauria stamps issued August 20, 1991.
Both stamp set of Great Britain 1991 and Marshall Islands 2015 are designed by famous British artist Bryan Kneale.

Bryan Kneale was born on the Isle of Man and attended Douglas School of Art (1946-47) and the Royal Academy Schools, London (1948-1949). Kneale was initially a figurative painter, but started making sculpture after attending a welding course in 1960. Since the mid-1980s Kneale's major source of inspiration has been the skeletons and joints of animals he studied and drew at the Natural History Museum in London. In an unpublished Tate interview he related his fascination to a sculptural interest in structure and form: 'I have always found in all my work it is the connections, the articulation of form which has been of particular importance to me, rather than the development of sculptural mass. The endless invention in nature of bony structures from minute tiny insects and animals to colossal forms of dinosaur bones … has always fascinated me.'

Triceratops on stamps of Marshall Islands 2015

One of the last of the dinosaurs to evolve, the Triceratops lived and died during the Late Cretaceous Period - more than 136 million years ago. A large bony frill which partially encircled its neck separated the creature's massive body and elongated head. Two long, bony horns measuring more than three feet in length jutted from its forehead, while another short horn curved slightly up from its snout. The weight of its heavy body was borne by stout hind legs and shorter forelegs, which suggested a bipedal ancestor. Paleontologists have estimated that the Triceratops weighed eight to nine tons and supported its enormous bulk by browsing continuously, for this dinosaur -- like so many others of formidable appearance- was an herbivore. Its beak-like mouth ripped fibrous vegetation such as palm fronds, while its teeth sheared through the stringy pulp and chopped it finely to allow for easy mastication. Scientists believe that the Triceratops grazed and traveled in groups or herds which provided additional protection from hungry predators such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex. A latecomer to the Age of Dinosaurs, this species was also among the last of the reptilian giants to become extinct.

Stegosaurus on stamps of Marshall Islands 2015
The late Jurassic Period produced one of the dinosaur era's most unusual creatures- the Stegosaurus. It developed as a biped, but through the eons it reverted to a quadruped, thus accounting for its high haunches and short forelegs. Measuring approximately twenty feet in length, the Stegosaurus was armored -- with two offset rows of large, triangular, horn-covered bony plates along its back and two pairs of long, pointed bony spikes at the end of its tail. This battle-ready, ponderous body completely dwarfed the creature's comically-small head and suggested a pugnacious nature. But the Stegosaurus was a peaceably-natured dinosaur which grazed on soft vegetation and counted on its formidable appearance to ward off predators. Closer examination of Stegosaurus fossils in the late 1970s revealed that the bony plates contained a network of canals which probably contained blood vessels. Many scientists is now speculate that the vessels served as a convective heat-loss system, enabling the dinosaur to control its own body temperature. Such startling information suggests that dinosaurs were warm-blooded creatures - not cold-blooded like modern reptiles- and add extra dimension to the continuing quest to explain their mass extinction.

Protoceratops on stamps of Marshall Islands 2015
The Protoceratops was one of the most primitive species of dinosaur. A predecessor of later great horned dinosaurs, the Protoceratops was slightly larger than the modern alligator and probably evolved -- like so many other herbivores -- from a bipedal ancestor. The Protoceratops' large head was partially encircled by a bony frill which protected its vulnerable neck area from a predator's deadly attack, but this dinosaur lacked the sharp horns which gave its Triceratops descendents their fierce and combative appearance. A beak-like mouth suited its vegetarian diet, but the creature possessed only a few teeth in its upper jaw and probably eschewed fibrous palm fronds in favor of tender, easily masticated shoots. The animal's well-developed tail contained long vertical spines, indicating to some researchers a partially-aquatic lifestyle. Like other larger herbivores, the Protoceratops traveled in groups or herds. In recent decades, scientists have uncovered more than eighty individual specimens in all stages of development -- from whole, unbroken eggs complete with intact embryo to older animals at the end of their lifecycle. These valuable finds -- many of them unearthed in Mongolia -- will in time produce priceless additional data on this ancient creature. The Protoceratops was one of the Dinosaur Era's first species and one of science's most fertile sources for paleontologic research.

Tyrannosaurus on stamps of Marshall Islands 2015
In 1842 British anatomist Sir Richard Owen coined the word dinosaur from two Greek words meaning "terrible lizard." Although dinosaurs were not lizards, the term aptly applied to the best known and most fearsome of all dinosaurs -- the Tyrannosaurus. Its name meant "tyrant lizard," and this ravenous meat-eater conducted an unrivaled reign of terror as master of the Mesozoic Era. Towering twenty feet above the ground, the Tyrannosaurus possessed an enormous head and six-inch, dagger-like teeth which slashed into prey with merciless efficiency. Its short forelimbs served little function other than grasping objects at close range, and the behemoth's long tail acted as a counter-balance for its cumbersome body. While the Tyrannosaurus was undoubtedly the most powerful and dangerous dinosaur, it was also one of the rarest. Scientists estimated that one hundred square miles of territory served as the habitat for only one Tyrannosaurus. Its remains are generally uncovered in the same deposits as the remains of its most likely prey -- the more plentiful great armored dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Protoceratops. Millions of years after the last Tyrannosaurus died, this terrifying creature continues to stimulate scientific investigation and linger in the mythological fantasies of mankind.

Mini Sheet

Mini Sheet of dinosaur bones stamps of Marshall Islands 2015

: Unicover Tate


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