Arago: Prehistoric Animals Issue

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Prehistoric Animals Issue

To launch Stamp Collecting Month in 1989, a block of four 25-cent commemorative stamps showing earth's great prehistoric animals was issued on October 1, 1989, in Orlando, Florida. A dedication ceremony was held at the Universe of Energy Exhibit in EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World.

Designed by illustrator and muralist, John Gurche, the stamps show the Tyrannosaurus (tyrant lizard), Pteranodon (winged lizard), Brontosaurus (thunder lizard), and Stegosaurus (plated lizard) in suspended movement across sweeping natural vistas. Gurche is known for his realistic depictions of prehistoric animals in National Geographic and at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Appearing at about the same time as the first mammals, these ancient beasts are thought to have inhabited the earth for approximately 140 million years before disappearing under circumstances still debated.

Although now recognized by the scientific community as Apatosaurus, the name Brontosaurus was used for the stamp because it is more familiar to the general population. Similarly, the term "dinosaur" has been used generically to describe all the animals, even though the Pteranodon was a flying reptile.

The stamps were printed in the offset/intaglio process by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and issued in panes of forty.

Reference:

Postal Bulletin (September 14, 198).


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