Animals of the Deep Past illustrated by Peter Trusler.
This collection brings together four stamp issues focusing on creatures from the deep past, each of which has been illustrated by celebrated scientific artist Peter Trusler, with palaeontological advice by Professor Pat Vickers-Rich and Dr Thomas H Rich. The subject matter together spans more than half a billion years of life on planet Earth, from the weird Ediacaran biota of the Precambrian to the megafauna of a few tens of thousands of years ago.
The earliest complex, large organisms (some possibly animals) depicted are Ediacarans from around 600 to 539 million years ago. Fossils suggest a variety of lifeforms, some more akin to plants or fungi than to animals, but in recent years some of these multicellular organisms have been recognised as the earliest-known animal life. Most thrived on the slime and muck of the seabed, though some were more motile, and many died out over a few million years with the Cambrian explosion. This saw a flourishing of biodiversity and the development of hard skeletons, which have left a much better fossil record.
Dinosaurs arrived on the evolutionary scene around 300 million years after the Ediacarans and dominated the Earth for more than 160 million years. Some survive today as birds. Two of the minisheets in this collection show dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period, which lasted from 145 million to 66 million years ago, and include a non-dinosaur, a pterosaur or winged reptile. The 1993 issue shows animals from the Early Cretaceous and the 2022 issue from the Mid-Cretaceous, and palaeontological evidence highlights they are species from Australia.
The fourth minisheet shows Australian Megafauna from the Pleistocene Epoch, around 2.5 million to 11,700 years ago. This extraordinary range of giant and smaller animals roamed the continent before most became extinct between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago. Their extinction is a puzzle for scientists, although they hypothesise that the arrival of humans, a changing climate or a combination of the two may be responsible for their disappearance. What a great loss!
Each minisheet in this exclusive collection is numbered, in a limited edition of just 200, and carries a foiled overprint.
Gold foil numbering on all minisheets in areas indicated below – 001/200 to 200/200
- All minisheets are perforated
- Please note the UV finish featured on the original "Creatures of the Slime" minisheet does not feature on this reprinted edition
- 1993 “Australia’s Dinosaur Era” minisheet
- 2005 Large scale “Creatures of the Slime” minisheet
- 2008 “Mega Fauna” minisheet
- 2022 “Australian Dinosaurs” minisheet
Gold foil overprint mark
- 1993 “Australia’s Dinosaur Era” minisheet (dinosaur footprint)
- 2005 Large scale “Creatures of the Slime” minisheet (Tribrachidium)
- 2008 “Mega Fauna” minisheet (Diprotodon footprint)
- 2022 “Australian Dinosaurs” minisheet (Australovenator skull)
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