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United Kingdom 2013 "Dinosaurs"

Issue Date 10.10.2010
ID Michel: Stanley Gibbons: UPU: Category: pR
Author Design Why Not Associates
Illustration John Sibbickl Consultant Angela Milner
Stamps in set 10
Value 1st calss (GBP 0.60) x10
1st Class - Polacanthus
1st Class - Ichthyosaurus
1st Class - Iguanodon
1st Class - Ornithocheirus
1st Class - Baryonyx
1st Class - Dimorphodon
1st Class - Hypsilophodon
1st Class - Cetiosaurus
1st Class - Megalosaurus
1st Class - Plesiosaurus
Size (width x height) 37mm x 27mm excluding protrusions
Layout 2 stripes of 5 stamp each, issued in sheets of 25 and 50 stamps
Products FDC x 1 PP x1 Gutters x1 Special Cover x1
Paper Phosphor: all over
Gum: self-adhesive
Perforation 13.5 x 14
Print Technique Gravure
Printed by Walsall Security Printers
Issuing Authority Royal Mail
dinosaurs stamps of UK 2013

On October 10, 2013 Royal Mail, first time since 1991, launched a set of ten self adhesive stamp of "Dinosaurs" (actually four animals depicting in these stamps are not dinosaurs, but flying and marine reptilies: Dimorphodon Ornithocheirus, Ichthyosaurus, Plesiosaurus ). The new stamp collection is designed to celebrate the 200 year history of paleontology in Britain and the discovery of a multitude of dinosaur remains in Britain by British paleontologists.

Dinosaurs have often been associated with North America and the exploration of the Wild West that began in the 1870s, but as mentioned above the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs and their contemporary marine and flying reptiles happened in England during the early 1800s. The dinosaurs in this 10-stamp set have strong connections with the following locations in Great Britain:

The cliffs and foreshore are the world’s most important and famous sites for marine reptiles that lived 201-195 million years ago. ICHTYOSAURUS and PLESIOSAURUS swam in the shallow seas that covered Dorset. The pterosaur DIMORPHODON flew over the water and occasionally fell in.

MEGALOSAURUS, the first dinosaur to be named, came from Stonesfield Quarry near Witney. CETIOSAURUS was discovered in several locations during the 19th century, including Chipping Norton and Bletchington Station, notable for the most complete skeleton found.

The only fairly complete skeleton of the fish-eating dinosaur, BARYONYX, was discovered in a working brick-making clay pit at Wallis Wood, near Dorking, in 1983. Remains of IGUANODON and a SAUROPOD have also been uncovered there.

The first recognised dinosaur fossils came from a stone quarry at Whiteman’s Green, Cuckfield. They included teeth discovered in 1822 and later named IGUANODON. Pterosaur fragments, originally identified as birds and later as ORNITHOCHEIRUS, were also found there.

The fossils from seven of the ten depicting dinosaurs have all previously been found on the Isle of Wight, many of which are on display at Dinosaur Isle in Sandown. Isle of Wight palaeo-artist John Sibbick was selected from a number of expert artists as he is one of the foremost illustrators of dinosaurs and has decades of experience. It was felt that Sibbick’s painterly approach gave a more detailed realisation of the animals than tests with computer generated imagery at stamp size. The stamp designs in this issue are printed such that the creatures ‘break out’ of the self-adhesive stamp frame, so there is not a clean straight edge to the stamp.
Mr. Sibbick said: "I always knew that designing and illustrating stamps was a rigorous and painstaking process. To get the opportunity was a dream come true, especially depicting the world famous dinosaurs found on the Isle of Wight. To get such access to fossil dinosaur bones, tracks and the plants in their environment on the Isle of Wight makes the reconstruction process a much more vivid experience." The museum will host an exhibition telling the story of the creation of John Sibbick's work.The stamps have been produced under the guidance of palaeontologists from the Natural History Museum, including the Angela Milner. (who is along with Alan Charig, her colleague at the Natural History Museum in London, named and described Baryonyx, one of the dinosaurs featured in the set. ) Each illustration is anatomically correct to the extent of present scientific knowledge.

The exciting Dinosaur Island App Trail based on the ancestral links between the characters in the film and the dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight, will give you the chance to be seen standing alongside dinosaurs in the very place they were discovered. The app utilises new technology which allows you to use smart phones and tablets to take pictures of family and friends walking alongside the dinosaurs that roamed the Isle of Wight 130 million years ago, while at the same time learning more about their relatives - the dinosaur characters in the movie. The Augmented Reality App is available to download from anywhere in the world, but will only be triggered into life at six coastal locations on the Isle of Wight.

These stamps presentation
, to public for the first time, took place at the Natural History Museum in London on October 7, 2013 - few days prior to official release.
Sir David Attenborough with dinosaur stamp from UK 2013
Image from designweek.co.uk
Broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough said; “It was a British scientist, Sir Robert Owen, the first Director of the Natural History Museum, who first identified a dinosaur and who invented that name for the whole group. The sheer size and variety of these extinct reptiles captivates people of all ages and inspires children’s imaginations. They are perennially popular and have inspired countless books, films and television series. These stamps are a wonderful reminder of the majestic creatures that once roamed what is now Great Britain hundreds of millions of years ago.”

Dinosaurs dominated the Earth for more than 160 million years during the Mesozoic Era, 252 to 65 million years ago, often called the Age of Dinosaurs. They shared the planet with many other animals including marine reptiles, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, and flying reptiles called pterosaurs. The first finds of all these ancient groups were made in southern England in the early 1800s. Thus began our ever-growing fascination with this long-lost world.
Sir David Attenborough with dinosaur stamp from UK 2013
Image from Bridport News

The Ichthyosaurus, the Plesiosaurus and the Dimorphodon were all first discovered by Mary Anning (famous British fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist) on the beaches of Lyme Regis at the beginning of the 19th century, and their fossilised remains can still be found along the Jurassic Coast today.
Mary Anning and her brother Joseph discovered the first ever Ichthyosaurus in 1811 on the beaches between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Mary continued to find fossilised remains of the Ichthyosaurus during the next ten years, before discovering the Plesiosaurus in the winter of 1828.
David Tucker, curator at Lyme Regis museum, said he was delighted the Royal Mail had commemorated Anning’s finds in the stamp collection, he said “The collection is very interesting and shows the very strong local connection in marine reptile fossil discovery and I’m delighted they have chosen three of Anning’s discoveries. I will certainly be getting some of the stamps, and I am very pleased to see them.”

The stamp set was originally scheduled for release last year (2012), to mark the centenary of the publication of ”The Lost World”, a novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that tells the story of an exhibition to South America led by Professor Challenger that discovers a whole host of prehistoric animals surviving on a remote plateau. Ironically, a number of animals featured on the stamps such as the Iguanodon along with the Pterosaur Dimorphodon and the marine reptiles are featured in this book. The South American Spinosaurid Irritator, a dinosaur from the same branch of the Theropoda family tree as Baryonyx has a link to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel. The specific name for Irritator (Irritator challengeri) is a reference to Professor Challenger, the central character in the book. Finaly the stamps launched end of 2013, only two months prior to UK Premiere of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE

Some more details prehistoric animals depicting on the stamps:

Polacanthus - many spines

Polacanthus dinosaur stamp of UK 2013
Period: Early Cretaceous
Main group: Dinosauria, Arikylosauria
Length: 4—5m
Weight: 1000-2000kg
Diet: Plants
Discovered: Reverend William Fox, Isie of Wight, 1865
Firts described: Richard Owen, 1865

Known from only two partial skeletons, both lacking skulls, the heavily armoured polacanthus (‘many spines’) was a herbivorous quadruped protected against predators by spikes and studs along its body and a heavy hip shield of flat, bony plates.

Ichthyosaurus - fish lizard

Ichthyosaurus stamp of UK 2013

Period: Early Jurassic
Main Group: Icthyosauria
Length: 2m
Weight: 80—100kg
Diet: fish and squid
Discovered: Joseph and Mary Anning, Lyme Regis, Dorset,1811
Firts Described: Everard Home, 1814

Adapted to life in the sea, the Ichthyosaurus breathed air and gave birth to live young in the water. About the size of a modern dolphin, but with vertical rather than horizontal tail flukes, it ate fish and squid.

Iguanodon - Iguana tooth

Iguanodon dinosaur stamp of UK 2013

Period: early cretaceous
Main group:
Dinosauria, Omithupoda
Length: 10m
Weight: 4000-5000kg
Diet: plants
Discovered: Gideon Mantell, Tiigate Forest, West Sussex, 1822
First described: Gideon Mantell, 1825

With forelimbs which were much shorter than its hind limbs, iguanodon (‘iguana tooth’) was a herbivore that could stand or walk on all fours but ran bipedally. Its distinctive thumb spikes might have been for defence or for foraging.

Ornithocheirus - bird hand

Ornithocheirus on stamp of UK 2013

Period: early cretaceous
Main group: pterosauria
Length: 2.5—3m wingspan
Weight: 4—5kg
Diet: fish
Discovered: Tilgate Forest, West Sussex, 1827
First described: Harry Govier Seeley, 1869

The lightweight ornithocheirus (‘bird hand’) flew by soaring and gliding on its long, narrow wings, and fed by skimming the surface of the sea to catch fish in slender jaws which were fringed with outwardly-pointing, interlocking teeth.

Ornithocheirus represents the pterodactyloid pterosaurs. This species was first described by Harry Govier Seeley in 1869, though the fossils had been known of since 1827.

Baryonyx - heavy claw

Baryonyx dinosaur on stamp of UK 2013

Period: Early Cretaceous
Main group: Dinosauria, Theropoda
Length: 10.5m
Weight: 2000kg
Diet: fish and other dinosaurs
Discovered: William Walker, Ockley, Surrey, 1983
First described: Alan Charig and Angela Milner, 1986

Baryonyx (‘heavy claw’) was a land-based fish-eating creature with a long snout full of serrated teeth. It had a huge thumb claw covered by a horny sheath, which may have helped it catch its prey.

Dimorphodon - two form tooth

Dimorphodon on stamp of UK 2013

Period: early jurassic
Main group: Pterosauria
Length: 1m wingspan
Weight: 2kg
Diet: fish
Discovered: Mary Anning, Lyme Regis, Dorset, 1828
First described: William Clift and William John Broderip, 1835

The two different sizes of teeth in the jaws of dimorphodon (‘two-form tooth’) suggest that this flying dinosaur was a fish-eater. It had a large, puffin-like beak, short wings and a long tail. Dimorphodon represents the older rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs and was described by William Clift and William John Broderip in 1835. This description was based on a fossil that was discovered by Mary Anning in 1828.

Hypsilophodon - high-ridge tooth

Hypsilophodon dinosaur stamp of UK 2013
Period: Early Cretaceous
Main group: Dinosauria, Ornithopoda
Length: 1.5~2.3m
Weight: 20-40kg
Diet: plants
Discovered: Cowleaze Chine, Isle of Wight, 1849
First described: Thomas Henry Huxley, 1869

The long shins of the Hypsilophodon suggest that a speedy escape was its main means of defence. With a short thigh and a long shin, hypsilophodon (‘high-ridge tooth’) was a fast runner. With no body armour, running would have been this comparatively small plant-eating biped’s only defence from predators.
Cetiosaurus - whale lizard

Cetiosaurus dinosaur stamp of UK 2013

Period: Middle Jurassic
Main Group: Dinosauria, Sauropoda
Length: l6~18m
Weight: 15,000- 2o,oookg
Discovered: John Kingdon, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire,1825
First described: Richard Owen, 1841

The Cetiosaurus was a herbivore thought to weigh as much as 20,000kg, the same as 20 cars. The large, dense bones of cetiosaurus (‘whale lizard’) were thought to belong to a whale when the first fossil was found, hence its name.

Megalosaurus - big lizard

Megalosaurus dinosaur stamp of UK 2013

Period: Middle Jurassic
Main group: Dinosauria, Theropoda
Length: 9m
Weight: 1000kg
Diet: other dinosaurs
Discovered: Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, 1815 onwards
First described: William Buckland, 1824

The fearsome Megalosaurus grew up to nine metres in length, and preyed upon other Dinosaurs. Megalosaurus (‘great lizard’) was a heavily-muscled bipedal carnivore with long, curved teeth. An exceptional set of footprints discovered in Oxfordshire in 1997 records the 1.5-tonne creature crossing an ancient mudflat at pace.

Plesiosaurus- near reptile

Plesiosaurus dinosaur stamp of UK 2013

Period: Early Jurassic
Main group: Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria
Length: 3—5m
Weight: 150kg
Diet: fish and other marine prey
Discovered: Mary Anning, Lyme Regis, Dorset, 1823
First described: William Conybeare and Henry de la Beche, 1824

With its vast paddles, the Plesiosaurus hunted fish and other marine prey at an estimated 8kph.

A marine reptile with a small head on the end of a long, flexible neck, plesiosaurus (‘near lizard’) swam like a sea turtle, with two pairs of huge paddles giving it good manoeuvrability as it hunted small fish and squid.


Post mark: first 4 are official of Royal Mail
Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013
Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013 Post mark of British dinosaur stamps set 2013
FDC (First day Cover) Special Cover - Medal Cover
dinosaurs of Mexico on FDC, First Day Cover, from 2006

Complete with an informative filler card written by fossil expert Dr Angela Milner, this striking First Day Cover has all ten Dinosaurs Stamps affixed. Cancelled with a Lyme Regis postmark, chosen as it was the site of Mary Anning’s landmark discovery of the Ichthyosaurus.
dinosaurs of Mexico on FDC, First Day Cover, from 2006

This striking cover features the Special Stamps and a commemorative medal from The Royal Mint. It also contains an insert card looking at how discoveries, interpretations and technology have worked together over the years. Limited Edition of 9,000.

Gutter Pair Presentation Pack
gutter pair stamps of dinosaurs UK 2013
dinosaurs of Mexico on Souvenir Sheet from 2006
Inside text is here
In the glorious Presentation Pack, which includes all ten Special Stamps, Dr Angela Milner of the Natural History Museum in London examines our discovery of the Dinosaur age in superb detail. She also looks at the British pioneers of paleontology and the future of the science, through a host of facts, photographs and illustrations.
Circulated cover
British dinosaur stamps of 2013 on circulated cover
Register letter sent on the fist day of the stamps issue.

References: Royal Maii Group Ofiicial press release of Royal Mail Norvic Philatelics Blog Norvic Philatelics Everything Dinosaur examiner IW radio Driffield Today


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