Stamp and paleontology enthusiasts, rejoice! Canada's primary postal operator unveiled on May 26 a cool new stamp series that depicts five prehistoric creatures from the country's geological past.
Canada Post's stamp series displays an interesting storyline with each eye as the frame, as designed by a team led by Roy White at Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver. It sparks the imagination without having to portray an entire scene.
Known as the "Dinos of Canada," the series illustrates five beasts as eerie reflections in the eyes of either their own prey or the predators that stalk them. Each stamp was vividly drawn by world renowned paleo-artist Sergey Krasovskiy.
Each of the creature in the stamps were once unearthed across Canada and represent different geological periods. The Canadian Museum of Nature helped Canada Post choose which animals to feature in the 2015 series.
Here is a list of each creature's story:
1. Acrotholus audeti: The audeti is the only known species of the extinct Acrotholus genus. This dinosaur is really tiny, and possessed a 10-centimeter (3.9-inch) thick dome of bone over its eyes. Achrotolus audeti was a bipedal herbivore that probably used its dome to bang heads with other members of its species. These dinosaurs once roamed the coastal lowlands of Alberta approximately 85 million years ago.
2. Comox Valley elasmosaur: Although this marine reptile is part of the lineup, scientists have yet to give it a scientific name. This vicious marine reptile had a neck nearly 7 meters (276 inches) long that allowed it to hunt prey. Living only about 2 million years before the Acrotholus, the elasmosaur was excavated in 1988 by a father and his 12-year-old daughter at the Comox Valley.
3. Cypretherium coarctatum: This fearsome species was part of a group of mammals called "terminator pigs." Cypretherium coarctatum had a long, narrow snout, as well as menacing pointed teeth at the front. It resided in the ancient floodplains of Saskatchewan only about 35 million years ago.
4. Dimetrodon borealis: This ancient creature was once heralded as Canada's first dinosaur, but paleontologists soon realized that it was a mammal-like reptile. About 270 million years ago, this animal's home used to be what is now known as Prince Edward Island when it was still dry and hot and near the Equator.
5. Troodon inequalis: This dinosaur is bird-like, and scientists say it is very similar to the carnivorous Velociraptor from Jurassic Park. In relation to body size, the Troodon inequalis had the biggest brain of any dinosaur. It was a resident of coastal lowlands in Alberta roughly 75 million years ago.