Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals on stamps and postmarks of Laos

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Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, or commonly referred to by its colloquial name of Muang Lao is a landlocked country in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula of Mainland Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.
Laos traces its history to the Kingdom of Lan Xang or Land of a Million Elephants, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century.
In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three territories uniting to form what is now known as Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but returned to French rule until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war overthrew the monarchy, when the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975. [R1]

The first stamps of Laos were issued on 13 November 1951. Before then stamps of French Indo-China were used.
Laotian stamps were printed by multiple companies from different countries as Laos’s political situation changed. Therefore, there are many varieties of printing techniques used and many stamp designs exits, as each publisher used different equipment and design styles.
According to Stanley Gibbons catalog, stamps of Laos were printed in the following countries:
  • 1951-1976: France, State Printing company in Paris
  • 1977-1980: East Germany (GDR), Security Printing company in Leipzig
  • 1981-1985: Cuba, State Printing company in Havana
  • 1986: Soviet Union: State Printing company in Moscow
  • 1986-1994: Cuba, State Printing company in Havana
  • 1994-1997: Vietnam, Post Printing company in Ho Chi Minh City
  • 1997-now: Thailand, Thai-British Security Co. Ltd. in Bangkok
Even though the first fossil of Dinosaurs were found in Laos in 1936 by French scientist, Joshua-Heilmann HOFFET, pioneer of Geology and Paleontology of Laos, Dinosaurs appear for the first time on Laos's stamps in 1988. [R2]

Official stamps of Laos related to Paleontology: dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

03.03.1988 "Prehistoric Animals" [1] 20.01.1994 "Prehistoric Birds" 08.12.1994 "Dinosaurs"
Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals on stamps of Laos 1988 Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals on stamps of Laos 1994 Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals on stamps of Laos 1994
20.02.1995 "Dinosaurs" [2]
Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals on stamps of Laos 1995 MICHEL Dinos - whole world catalog - contain technical details and prices of stamps with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

[1] This series was presented as part of "JUVALUX 88", 9th Youth Stamp Exhibition Stamp Luxembourg (29 March-4 April 1988).
All images are based on illustrations of famous Czech paleo-artist Zdenek Burian.
Phororhacus is misspelled Phororhacos.
The names Tyrannosaurus and Trachodon are swapped on stamps with face value of 50k and 3k.
Original image is below.
Trachodon and Tyrannosaurus, painted by Zdeněk Burian
Full title of this image is: "Carnivorous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex attacking herbivorous saurians Trachodon annectens; in the background, Struthiomimus saurains. Late Cretaceous of North America". Painted by Zdeněk Burian in 1938, for Czech paleontologist Josef Augusta. Published in book "Prehistoric Animals" in 1960.

[2] In this series, the names of the animals are printed in Latin and Spanish because the company that printed them was based in Cuba.

Commemorative postmarks of Laos related to Paleontology: dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

Legend is here
03.03.1988 "Prehistoric Animals" [FDC] [1] 20.01.1994 "Prehistoric Birds" [FDC] 20.02.1995 "Dinosaurs" [FDC] [2]
Pterosaur on postmark of Laos 1988 Prehistoric bird on postmark of Laos 1994 Dinosaur on postmark of Laos 1995


Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for the draft page review and his very valuable comments.

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