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France 2008 "Prehistoric animals"

Issue Date 21.04.2008
ID Michel: 4402-4405, 86 Scott: Stanley Gibbons: Yvert: UPU: FR039.08 Category: pR
Author Christian Broutin
Stamps in set 4
Value 0.55€ Phorusrhacos(should be Phororhacos)
0.55€ Smilodon
0.65€ Megaloceros
0.88€ Mammoth (Mammuthus) and Neandertal hunters
Size (width x height) 40,85 x 30 mm, 30 x 40,85 ; Block 110x160mm
Layout Sheet of 40 stamps, Block with 4 stams
Products FDC x4 SS x1
Perforation 13 x 13
Print Technique rotogravure
Printed by Phil@Poste Boulazac
Issuing Authority LA POSTE
prehistoric animals on stamps of France 2008

On April 21, Post Authority issued set of 4 stamps "Prehistoric animals", issued in mini sheet and individual stamp sheets 40 stamps each.
The set depict four prehistorical animals who lived at different times in different part of the world and could not meet together at at the same place at depicting on a block. , as well as some Neanderthals hunters. The animals are: Megaloceros - great deer - "Irish elk", Smilodon , Phorusrhacos , Mammoth

Megaloceros - great deer - "Irish elk"

Great deer Megaloceros on stamp of France 2008The Irish Elk, Megaloceros, is misnamed, for it is neither exclusively Irish nor is it an elk. It is a giant extinct deer, the largest deer species ever, that stood up to seven feet at the shoulder (2.1 meters), with antlers spanning up to 12 feet (3.65 meters). The Irish elk evolved during the glacial periods of the last million years, during the Pleistocene Epoch. It ranged throughout Europe, northern Asia and northern Africa, and a related form is known from China. The name "Irish" has stuck because excellent, well-preserved fossils of the giant deer are especially common in lake sediments and peat bogs in Ireland. On the other hand, the complete skeleton, on display at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow, was found at the other end of Europe, near the Russian town of Sapozhka. Megaloceros.savini speciment first found near Sainte Savine, France. Its antlers were straight, with thorn-like prongs. The lowermost prongs near the base were palmate.

Mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus.

Mammoth and Neandertal hunters on stamp of France 2008These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene Epoch from around 4.8 million years ago, into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago. The word mammoth comes from the Russian mamont, probably in turn from the Vogul (Mansi) language, mang ont, meaning "earth horn". Like their modern relative the elephant (Asian or African), mammoths were quite large. The largest known species, Songhua River mammoth (Mammuthus sungari) , reached heights of at least 5 metres at the shoulder. Mammoths would probably normally weigh in the region of 6 to 8 tons, but exceptionally large males may have exceeded 12 tons. However, most species of mammoth were only about as large as a modern Asian elephant. Fossils of species of dwarf mammoth have been found on the Californian Channel Islands (Mammuthus exilis) and the Mediterranean island of Sardinia (Mammuthus lamarmorae). There was also a race of dwarf woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island, north of Siberia, within the Arctic Circle.


Phorusrhacos on stamp of France 2008 Phorusrhacos was a genus of giant flightless predatory birds that lived in Patagonia, containing the single species Phorusrhacos longissimus. Their closest living relatives are the much smaller seriema birds. The terror birds lived in woodlands and grasslands. Among the bones found in the stratum of the Santa Cruz Formation (now considered as mainly of mid-Miocene date) was the piece of a mandible which

Florentino Ameghino on stamp Argentina 1956

Florentino Ameghino (1887) at first described as that of an edentate mammal. In 1891, it was recognized to be a bird. Remains are known from several localities in the Santa Cruz Province, of Argentina. Phorusrhacos stood around 2.5 meters tall and weighed approximately 130 kilograms. It was nicknamed the "Terror Bird" for obvious reasons: it was one of the largest carnivorous birds to have ever existed, along with Titanis, Kelenken and Brontornis, and its rudimentary wings formed arm-like structures with claws shaped like a meat hook for tackling prey, which was then killed with the massive beak.

Smilodon on stamp of France 2008 Smilodon often called a saber-toothed cat or wrongly a saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of machairodonts. This saber-toothed cat was endemic to North America and South America, living from near the beginning through the very end of the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya -10,000 years ago). The nickname "saber-tooth" refers to the extreme length of their maxillary canines.

Despite the colloquial name "saber-toothed tiger", Smilodon is not a tiger; the latter belongs to subfamily Pantherinae, whereas Smilodon

belongs to subfamily Machairodontinae.

Peter Lund at Lagoa Santa cave on stamp Brasil 2010

The genus Smilodon was described by the Danish naturalist and palaeontologist Peter Wilhelm Lund in 1841. He found the fossils of Smilodon populator in caves near the small town of Lagoa Santa, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

A number of Smilodon species have been described, but today usually only three are recognized: Smilodon gracilis, Smilodon fatalis, Smilodon populator.

examples of some personalized FDC
prehistoric animals on FDC of France 2008 prehistoric animals on FDC of France 2008
Booklet Examples of some used covers
Used covers with prehistoric animals of France 2008

References: Wikipedia University of California Museum of Paleontology


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