Isle of Man
The Isle of Man
Fossils and paleontologists on stamps of Isle of Man
, also known simply as Man
is a self-governing Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Northern Ireland.
The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann.
The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor.
Foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the British Government.
The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC.
Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century and the Manx
language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, emerged.
While most residents speak English or a dialect of Manx English,
a small portion of the population still speaks Manx.
The postal history of the island pre-dates introduction of the first
postage stamps in 1840. The island used British stamps until 1958 when
regional issues were first released. The Isle of Man Post Office was founded in 1973
to secure postal independence and, since then, the island has issued
its own stamps.
Official stamps of the Isle of Man related to Paleontology: fossils, paleontologists
Philip Moore Callow Kermode and fossil gastropod Nassa kermodei on stamp of Isle of Map 1979
MiNr.: 138, Scott: 142
 Stamp with face value of 6 p., shows portrait of Philip Moore Callow
Kermode (1855 – 1932), who was a Manx antiquarian and historian (not paleontologist).
In 1922 he became the first director of the newly established Manx Museum.
Another object on the stamp is a fossil
(the Gastropoda or gastropods are more commonly known as snails and slugs Nassa kermodei
The first gastropods were exclusively marine, with the earliest representatives of the group appearing in the
Late Cambrian, 497 to 485.4 million years ago.
 The stamp with face value of 22p
shows the Great Deer (Megaloceros giganteus
) who was an inhabitant of Man during
the Ice Age and became extinct in prehistoric times.
The Great deer, is an extinct species of deer in the genus Megaloceros
and is one of the largest
deer that ever lived.
Its range extended across Eurasia during the Pleistocene, from Ireland to Siberia to China.
Great deer (Megaloceros giganteus) on stamp of Isle of Man 1986,
MiNr.: 304, Scott: 303
Great deer (Megaloceros giganteus) on display in Castle Rushen (1905-1950s)
Great deer (Megaloceros giganteus) on display in Manx Museum
The very first, nearly, complete skeleton of Megaloceros giganteus
in the world was found on Isle of Man.
It was in 1819 when a man called Thomas Kewish discovered it in a marl pit (by "marl” is usually meant an open-water
mud rich in calcium carbonate deposited principally by the algae Chara
Such a mud gives clear evidence of the former
existence of a lake in whose calcium-rich deposits bone would be readily preserved) at Loughan Ruy,
a basin on the Ballaugh gravel fan, Isle of Man.
Only a few bones are missing in the skeleton, most notably the pelvis.
Kewish used a large horse pelvis, among a few other things, to fill in the gaps.
Kewish entered into a partnership with James Taubman, the tenant of the field where the fossils came from.
They placed the mounted skeleton on display and charged admission to view it.
The Duke of Athol, who was the Queen’s Representative on the Isle of Man, later claimed the fossils as Lord of the Manor.
After a lawsuit, the Giant Deer came into the Duke’s possession.
The Duke of Athol later gave the specimen to the Museum of the University of Edinburg.
The Elk was later transferred with other specimens to the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers St, Edinburgh.
As it was the first skeleton of Megaloceros giganteus
its drawing appeared in many scientific essay and books.
The skeleton on the stamp is the second complete skeleton discovered on Isle of Man.
It was excavated at Close-y-Garey, St. John's in 1897.
The articulated skeleton was originally displayed in the temporary
museum at Castle Rushen in 1905 before being transported to the Manx museum in the 1950s,
where it is still on display today. [R3]
Fossil starfish Solaster moretonis on stamp of Isle of Man 1994,
MiNr.: 590, Scott: 597
Edward Forbes on stamp of Isle of Man 1994,
MiNr.: 589, Scott: 596
Fossil of Merocanites compressus ammonite on stamp of Isle of Manp 2006
MiNr.: 1270, Scott: 1140
 Stamp with face value of 30 p shows a fossil of an individual Solaster moretonis
This is a type of starfish which was first described by Edward Forbes.
Edward Forbes appears on a second stamp in the set (face value of 20 p).
Very few species of the genus Solaster
are known in the seas of the passing epoch.
and Solaster endeca
are both inhabitants of the European seas.
They are many rayed star-fishes of considerable dimensions, and resemble in
their shape the conventional figure of the sun.
None had hitherto been found in the fossil state until the remarkable
and unique starfish now for the first time figured and described was procured by Earl Ducie.
It was found in a fawn-coloured freestone belonging to the Great Oolite (?) at Windrush Quarry, in Gloucestershire.
 Stamp with face value of 97p., shows volcanic rock
of Scarlett Point and Castletown with a fossil of Merocanites compressus
in the foreground.
Dr. Peter Voice
from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for the draft page review and his valuable comments.