Australia 2022 "Beautiful Continent"

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Issue Date 23.02.2022
ID Michel: Scott: Category: Ot
Design Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio
Photographs: Daniel Willans, Wilpena Pound, Marco Bottigell, Dangar Falls.
Stamps in set 4
Value $1.10 Blue Mountains, NSW
$1.10 Flinders Ranges, SA
$1.10 Ningaloo Coast, WA
$1.10 Gondwana Rainforests, NSW
Size (width x height) 37.5mm x 26mm
Layout Sheets of 50
Products FDCx1, MCx4, Bookletx1, Gutter Pair stripes x4
Paper Tullis Russell Red Phos
Perforation 13.86 x 14.6
Print Technique Offset lithography
Printed by EGO
Issuing Authority
Beautiful landscapes on stamp of Australia 2022

On February 23rd 2022, the Post Authority of Australia issued a set of 4 stamps "Our Beautiful Continent". This issue features landscapes from three UNESCO World Heritage properties and another recently included on the World Heritage Tentative List.
  • The Greater Blue Mountains Area (inscribed onto the World Heritage list in the year 2000) is a biodiverse region of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalypt forest.
    These three prominent sandstone peaks formed around 200 million years ago and are situated on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley.
    According to the Dreamtime, the peaks were once three sisters who were turned to stone and now watch over the land of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri and Dharawal peoples.
  • The Flinders Ranges (inscribed onto the World Heritage list in the year 2001) is a semi-arid mountainous landscape. It features diverse landscapes, rich biodiversity and an exceptional geological record of the dawn of animal life on Earth.
  • The Ningaloo Coast (inscribed onto the World Heritage list in the year 2001) supports exceptional biodiversity of marine and terrestrial life and is one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world with an extensive karst system and network of underground caves and water courses.
  • The Gondwana Rainforests (inscribed onto the World Heritage list in the year 1986) includes important volcanic features and it supports the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. It is the principal habitat for many rare and threatened rainforest species, some with origins in the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.
    It was so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests containing the same kinds of species that are living today.
    There is a concentration of primitive plant families that are directly linked with the birth and spread of flowering plants over 100 million years ago, as well as some of the oldest elements of the world's ferns and conifers.

Landscape of The Flinders Ranges on stamp of Australia 2022
Landscape of the Flinders Ranges on stamp of Australia 2022 MiNr.: , Scott:
In 1946, while exploring for minerals, geologist Reginald Sprigg discovered fossil imprints in rocks around the low hills of the western Flinders Ranges at the old Ediacara minefield.
Sprigg's discovery was extremely important, as it was the first time the fossilised remains of an entire community of soft-bodied creatures had been found in such abundance anywhere in the world.
Sprigg's discovery was so significant that one genus of the fossils was named after him – Spriggina (shown on one of the stamps of Australia 2005 - below) and the Ediacaran Period was named after the location where the fossils were found.

The fauna is usually referred to as the Ediacara Fauna or the Vendian Fauna.
The Vendian Fauna gets its name from a site along the White Sea in Russia which has a similar fauna to the fossils found in Australia. The Russian site was actually found a little bit earlier.

The fossils preserved in the ancient sea-floor at Ediacara record the first known multicellular animal life on Earth that predates the Cambrian. This diverse and exquisitely preserved community of ancient organisms represents a significant snapshot of our geological heritage.
This discovery gave scientists a new understanding of the evolution of life on earth, as well as a better understanding of how fossils of organisms with soft tissue can become preserved in the fossil record.
The fossils of this period resemble the flatworms, soft corals and jellyfish we know today and range in size from a few centimetres up to a metre long.
Ediacara fauna on stamp of Australia 2005
Ediacara fauna on stamp of Australia 2005, MiNr.: 2446I-2450I, 2451I , Scott: 2381, 2382. Six of these stamps were issued in a Mini-Sheet with big margin and in different order - 2 rows of 3 stamps.

Tha animals on the stamps above are:
  1. Tribrachidium – thought to be related to the echinoderms (a group that includes starfish, sea cucumbers, sea lilies, etc.). They differ from echinoderns in having tri-radial symmetry instead of pentaradial symmetry.
  2. Dickinsonia – thought to be a flat worm.
  3. Spriggina (named after Reginald Sprigg) – thought to be an early Arthropod – due to the segmented body plan with segments grouped into a head, thorax, and pygidium (essentially a tail).
  4. Kimberella – thought to be an early mollusc.
  5. Inaria is thought to be an early cnidarian – likely related to modern sea anemones.
  6. Charniodiscus – they look like sea fans (another type of cnidarian) – but the paleontologists who have studied them think that they are an off-shoot of animal life and are not related to Cnidarians at all. Their shape is likely an example of convergent evolution – both groups being stationary filter-feeders.

The Ediacara fauna, also called the Ediacara biota is a unique assemblage of soft-bodied organisms preserved worldwide as fossil impressions in sandstone from the Ediacaran Period (approximately 635 million to 541 million years ago)—the final interval of both the Proterozoic Eon (2.5 billion to 541 million years ago) and Precambrian time (4.6 billion to 541 million years ago).
Traditionally, these fauna have come to represent an important development in the evolution of life on Earth, because they immediately predate the explosion of life-forms at the beginning of the Cambrian Period 541 million years ago.
These animals were the precursors of organisms with skeletons, the appearance of which marked the end of Precambrian time and the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon (541 million years ago to the present).

FDC Strips of Gutter Pairs Maxi Cards
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Booklet of 10 Presentation Pack
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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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