1997 32c Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus

# 3136f FDC - 1997 32c Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus

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US #3136f
1997 Stegosaurus – Dinosaurs

  • Part of the 2nd US issue picturing dinosaurs (the first being the 1989 block of four)
  • Showcases 1 of 8 dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period pictured on the souvenir sheet


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Value:  32¢, First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:  May 1, 1997
First Day City:  Grand Junction, Colorado
Quantity Issued:  219,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Panes of 15 (Vertical and horizontal, laid out in 2 irregular groups, 8 in upper group, 7 in lower group)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11
Tagging:  Two large tagging blocks, one over the top eight stamps and one over the bottom seven stamps.  Tagging follows the odd shape of the perforations.

Why the stamp was issued:  Issued in hopes of capturing the attention of young people with a subject they might find interesting.

About the stamp design:  Stamp pictures artwork by James Gurney of Rhinebeck, New York (best known as the author and illustrator of the Dinotopia books).   

First Day City:  The World of Dinosaurs stamps were dedicated in a ceremony at the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Valley Museum in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Grand Junction is known as the “Dinosaur Triangle” of western Colorado and northeastern Utah.  Many dinosaur fossils have been found in the area over the years.

Second Day Ceremony:  The second-day ceremony was held on May 2nd at the Berger Dinosaur Hall of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.  Consultant Jack Horner was the main speaker.  Horner’s famous long-time rival, Dr. Robert Bakker, had attended the first-day ceremony, making one wonder if, perhaps, Horner had decided not to attend in order to avoid him.

About the World of Dinosaurs set:  Originally to be four stamps, Gurney was later asked to do eight designs, then 10, and finally 15.  This was partially inspired by complaints USPS had received in the past about wasting paper on big souvenir sheets.  Gurney arranged the dinosaurs in two panoramic shots, one representing the Jurassic Period (150 million years ago) and the other representing the Cretaceous (75 million years ago).  The artist consulted with famous dinosaur expert Jack Horner as well as Michael Brett-Surman of the Smithsonian, Ken Carpenter of the Denver Museum of Natural History, and Phil Currie of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada.

In addition to offering suggestions for less-common dinosaur species, Gurney said “The scientists also provided me with lots of information about other creatures that would have shared the world with dinosaurs:  frogs, turtles, insects, crocodiles, pterosaurs, mammals, and birds – as well as the plants:  sequoias, cycads, tree ferns, and horsetails…  Recreating the full texture of this environment was very important to me.  Too often, illustrations give the impression that dinosaurs just trotted around on dry lakebeds looking grumpy while a volcano chugged away in the background.  In fact, their world was a rich and diverse ecosystem.  There were plenty of plants and animals that looked a lot like what you would find today in Florida.”

History the stamp represents:  When first found, scientists named this creature Stegosaurus, or “Roof Lizard,” because they thought its plates were protective armor that laid flat on its back, much like the shingles on a roof.  Since then, scientists have determined that the plates ran vertically down the length of the spine.

Arranged alternately in a single row, the plates were thin an were also grooved and honeycombed with spaces.  These facts have led to the theory that, rather than merely a form of defense, the plates actually functioned like solar panels, regulating the animal’s body temperature.

A mid-sized, Late Jurassic animal, Stegosaurus grew to be 30 feet long and weighed about two tons.  At the hips, it stood as tall as 12 feet, with its back legs being nearly twice as long as the front.  Oddly shaped, Stegosaurus lumbered along with its nose almost touching the ground and its backside nearly eight feet in the air.

A peaceful herbivore, Stegosaurus’s main defense was its tail, which sported two pairs of foot-long spikes.  And, thanks to a special nerve center in its tailbone, it was able to whip this around most effectively.  For in its dangerous world, Stegosaurus could not wait for the nerve signals to travel 20 feet to its brain and back again to its tail.

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US #3136f
1997 Stegosaurus – Dinosaurs

  • Part of the 2nd US issue picturing dinosaurs (the first being the 1989 block of four)
  • Showcases 1 of 8 dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period pictured on the souvenir sheet


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Value:  32¢, First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:  May 1, 1997
First Day City:  Grand Junction, Colorado
Quantity Issued:  219,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Panes of 15 (Vertical and horizontal, laid out in 2 irregular groups, 8 in upper group, 7 in lower group)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11
Tagging:  Two large tagging blocks, one over the top eight stamps and one over the bottom seven stamps.  Tagging follows the odd shape of the perforations.

Why the stamp was issued:  Issued in hopes of capturing the attention of young people with a subject they might find interesting.

About the stamp design:  Stamp pictures artwork by James Gurney of Rhinebeck, New York (best known as the author and illustrator of the Dinotopia books).   

First Day City:  The World of Dinosaurs stamps were dedicated in a ceremony at the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Valley Museum in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Grand Junction is known as the “Dinosaur Triangle” of western Colorado and northeastern Utah.  Many dinosaur fossils have been found in the area over the years.

Second Day Ceremony:  The second-day ceremony was held on May 2nd at the Berger Dinosaur Hall of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.  Consultant Jack Horner was the main speaker.  Horner’s famous long-time rival, Dr. Robert Bakker, had attended the first-day ceremony, making one wonder if, perhaps, Horner had decided not to attend in order to avoid him.

About the World of Dinosaurs set:  Originally to be four stamps, Gurney was later asked to do eight designs, then 10, and finally 15.  This was partially inspired by complaints USPS had received in the past about wasting paper on big souvenir sheets.  Gurney arranged the dinosaurs in two panoramic shots, one representing the Jurassic Period (150 million years ago) and the other representing the Cretaceous (75 million years ago).  The artist consulted with famous dinosaur expert Jack Horner as well as Michael Brett-Surman of the Smithsonian, Ken Carpenter of the Denver Museum of Natural History, and Phil Currie of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada.

In addition to offering suggestions for less-common dinosaur species, Gurney said “The scientists also provided me with lots of information about other creatures that would have shared the world with dinosaurs:  frogs, turtles, insects, crocodiles, pterosaurs, mammals, and birds – as well as the plants:  sequoias, cycads, tree ferns, and horsetails…  Recreating the full texture of this environment was very important to me.  Too often, illustrations give the impression that dinosaurs just trotted around on dry lakebeds looking grumpy while a volcano chugged away in the background.  In fact, their world was a rich and diverse ecosystem.  There were plenty of plants and animals that looked a lot like what you would find today in Florida.”

History the stamp represents:  When first found, scientists named this creature Stegosaurus, or “Roof Lizard,” because they thought its plates were protective armor that laid flat on its back, much like the shingles on a roof.  Since then, scientists have determined that the plates ran vertically down the length of the spine.

Arranged alternately in a single row, the plates were thin an were also grooved and honeycombed with spaces.  These facts have led to the theory that, rather than merely a form of defense, the plates actually functioned like solar panels, regulating the animal’s body temperature.

A mid-sized, Late Jurassic animal, Stegosaurus grew to be 30 feet long and weighed about two tons.  At the hips, it stood as tall as 12 feet, with its back legs being nearly twice as long as the front.  Oddly shaped, Stegosaurus lumbered along with its nose almost touching the ground and its backside nearly eight feet in the air.

A peaceful herbivore, Stegosaurus’s main defense was its tail, which sported two pairs of foot-long spikes.  And, thanks to a special nerve center in its tailbone, it was able to whip this around most effectively.  For in its dangerous world, Stegosaurus could not wait for the nerve signals to travel 20 feet to its brain and back again to its tail.