Royal Mail today launches its Dinosaur Special Stamps issue to mark over 200 years of dinosaur fossil discoveries in what was the UK.
Dinosaurs have often been associated with North America and the exploration of the Wild West that began in the 1870s, but the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs and their contemporary marine and flying reptiles happened in England during the early 1800s.
The dinosaurs in this 10-stamp set have strong connections with Dorset and pioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex. The set features illustrations of Polacanthus; Ichthyosaurus; Iguanodon; Ornithocheirus; Baryonyx; Dimorphodon; Hypsilophodon; Cetiosaurus; Megalosaurus and Plesiosaurus.
The stamps have been printed such that the creatures ‘break out’ of the self-adhesive stamp frame and are available from 10 October online at www.royalmail.com/dinosaurs, by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK.
Broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough said; “It was a British scientist, Sir Robert Owen, the first Director of the Natural History Museum, who first identified a dinosaur and who invented that name for the whole group. The sheer size and variety of these extinct reptiles captivates people of all ages and inspires children’s imaginations. They are perennially popular and have inspired countless books, films and television series. These stamps are a wonderful reminder of the majestic creatures that once roamed what is now Great Britain hundreds of millions of years ago.”
Dinosaurs dominated the Earth for more than 160 million years during the Mesozoic Era, 252 to 65 million years ago, often called the Age of Dinosaurs. They shared the planet with many other animals including marine reptiles, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, and flying reptiles called pterosaurs. The first finds of all these ancient groups were made in southern England in the early 1800s. Thus began our ever-growing fascination with this long-lost world.
Andrew Hammond, Director of Stamps and Collectibles, Royal Mail, said: “Britain has played an important role in the discovery of dinosaurs for over 200 years and our Dinosaurs issue is a fitting tribute to these creatures.”