"Dinosaurs of Laos"
||Michel: 1435-1437, Scott: 1200-1202
Stanley Gibbons: 1421-1423, Yvert: 1157-1159
||Mr. Vongsavanh Damlongsouk
Based on illustration of John Sibbick.
|Stamps in set
50K - Theropoda
380K - Iguanodon
420K - Sauropoda
|Size (width x height)
||Vietnam, Post Printing company in Ho Chi Minh City
On December 8th, 1994, Post of Laos issued their third set of stamps dedicated to Prehistoric Animals.
These colorful, but very abstract, reconstructions of these dinosaurs were chosen for this set of stamps at this time.
Unlike the previous two sets, this time the stamps show dinosaurs found in Mesozoic rock units of Laos.
Distinguished from the first two set, this time remains of the dinosaurs depicted on the stamps were found in the country.
Josué-Heilman HOFFET (1901-1945), discover of the first dinosaur fossils in Laos.
The image from dinosauria.org website.
The first fossils of dinosaurs were discovered in Laos in 1936 by a French
geologist, Josué-Heilman HOFFET (1901-1945), pioneer of Geology and Paleontology of Laos.
During geological mapping of terrestrial formations of Bas-Laos, near the village of Tang Vay
(120 km east of Savannaketh), he accidentally discovered various dinosaur fossils,
as well as the remains of turtles and crocodiles.
Based on these fragmental remains that included a large femur and a small
caudal vertebra, HOFFET described two new dinosaur species
Titanosaurus falloti (the specimens name honors Paul Fallot, HOFFET's mentor at the University of Nancy) in 1942 and
Manchurosaurus laoensis (Hadrosaur or commonly referred to as Duck-billed dinosaurs) in 1943.
In 1940, while the Japanese occupied Laos, HOFFET was mobilized and joined the intelligence services in Hue in Vietnam.
He disappeared in 1945 during the fighting at the Nui Tho Pass near Hanoi, then declared as "dead for France" in 1947.
In 1990 paleontologist Philippe Taquet, then director of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris,
took over the work of Josué-Heilman HOFFET.
He organized several expeditions to the country and found several dinosaur deposits from the Lower Cretaceous
period, Aptian-Albian age (126-100 million years ago), notably at Ban Tang Vay, Ban Nakhapong,
and at Ban Viengh Hay.
Paleontologists suggests that the fossil-bearing red beds of Laos are equivalent to the Khok Kruat Formation
of the Khorat Group in Thailand.
These discoveries show a great resemblance between the dinosaurs of Laos and those of China,
thus confirming the links between the Indochinese peninsula and the rest of Asia during the Cretaceous period.
Fossils of four different dinosaurs were found by the expedition:
- a Psittacosaurus, a small dinosaur with a parrot's beak
- a medium-sized Iguanodon
- a large Sauropod (a complete hind leg and 30 vertebrae of the tail of the same individual)
- a quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur, who was named after Josué-Heilman HOFFET Tangvayosaurus hoffeti
As these dinosaurs were not yet well described in 1994. when the stamps were issued, similar dinosaurs
from the same taxa were depicted on the stamps.
The sauropod stamp has an illustration of Saltasaurus
which is likely similar to
– a well known Laotian dinosaur at the time the stamps were issued.
Holotype of Tangvayosaurus, Dinosaur Museum, Savannakhet, Laos.
The image is from Wikipedia.
(meaning "Tang Vay lizard") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from
the Aptian-Albian age Early Cretaceous period from the Grès supérieurs Formation of Savannakhet, Laos.
It was a primitive or basal herbivorous dinosaur that is classified as part of the Titanosaurs.
The Titanosaurs were a group that included some of the largest dinosaurs who ever roamed the Earth.
was about 15 meters long and weighted 15 tons in weight in life.
Unfortunately, this species is only known from the fragmented remains of 2 or 3 individuals.
It was about 15 meter long, 15 tones weight and is known from the fragmental remains of two or three individuals.
As it is described from singles bones only, the exact placement of Tangvayosaurus
The most recent classification tentatively retains this genus, because it is sufficiently different
from a sauropod from next door in Thailand, Phuwiangosaurus
was depicted on a 1997 stamp from Thailand
A few bones of an Iguanodon-like dinosaur have also been discovered in Laos prior to this issue
Even today, these bones are still too incomplete and fragmented to assign this dinosaur to a
As one of the first scientifically well-known dinosaurs, Iguanodon
has occupied a notable place in the
public's perception of dinosaurs, its artistic representation changing significantly in response to new
interpretations of its remains.
, right after it was described in 1825, was portrayed as a quadrupedal horn-nosed beast.
Since 1882, after the largest find of Iguanodon
remains in a coal mine at Bernissart in Belgium,
was portrayed as a bipedal dinosaur standing by a tree and eating.
During his re-examination of Iguanodon, in 1980, Dr. David Norman, who also wrote
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs" book, that inspired the stamp designer,
was able to show that this posture was unlikely, because the long tail was stiffened with ossified tendons.
Since then it is accepted to portrayed Iguanodon
as quadrupedal dinosaur.
However, long after 1980 Iguanodon
was still depicted in many books and postage stamps,
in old style, staying or walking on two legs.
Fossils of Ichthyovenator.
The image is from Wikipedia.
Very well preserved remains of Theropod dinosaur, partial skeleton without the skull or limbs,
found in Laos in 2010 and 2014.
(meaning "Fish Hunter") is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur from
the Aptian-Albian age Early Cretaceous period (125 and 113 million years ago), from Gres superieurs Formation of Savannakhet, Laos.
This specimen became the holotype of the new genus and species Ichthyovenator laosensis
, and was described by palaeontologist
Ronan Allain and colleagues in 2012. The specimen name refers to the provenance from Laos.
The estimated size of the dinosaur is 8.5 - 10.5 meters long and weigth of 2.5 tones.
Like others dinosaurs of Spinosaurid family, Ichthyovenator
had tall neural spines that formed a sail on its back.
The unique feature of Ichthyovenator
is sinusoidal (wave-like) sail shape that curved downwards
and divided into two separate sails
As identified by the fellow collector Ton van Eijden, who run another website about prehistoric life
on stamps: stampedout.nl
, these stamp designs
are based on illustrations of the famous paleo-artist John Sibbick:
, and Saltasaurus
, published in
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs" book of David Norman in 1988.
Segnosaurus on illustration of John Sibbick.
The image is from chasmosaurs.blogspot.com
|Theropoda dinosaur on stamp of Laos, MiNr.: 1435 Scott: 1200
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs" by David Norman, issued in 1988.
The book provides detailed examination of the world of dinosaurs, their appearance,
behavior, and families, describing some theories about their extinction and explaining
how paleontologists study their fossilized remains, as it was at the time of the book publication.
Muttaburrasaurus on illustration of John Sibbick
The image is from Dinopedia
|Iguanodon-like dinosaur on stamp of Laos,
MiNr.: 1436 Scott: 1201
Saltasaurus on illustration of John Sibbick
The image is from chasmosaurs.blogspot.com
|Sauropoda dinosaur on stamp of Laos,
MiNr.: 1437 Scott: 1202
Nothing, even FDC, is known
- The stamp issue:
- Joshua-Heilmann HOFFET:
Wikipedia (in French),
dinosauria.org (in French),
aictpl2.pagesperso-orange.fr (in French).
- Dinosaurs discoveries in Laos:
Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum,
"Dinosaur Investigation of Lao PDR", by Phornphen Chanthasit,
written for the 2nd Lao-Thai Technical Conference on Geology and Mineral Resources, January 17-18, 2013.
Dinodata (in German) .
- John Sibbick:
"Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs",
on Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs blog.
- Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences,
Western Michigan University, for his draft page review and his valuable comments.
Many thanks to fellow collector Ton van Eijden, who run another website about prehistoric life
on stamps: stampedout.nl, for his help to find
an information about original illustrations.