1997 32¢ Brachiosaurus
Issue Date: May 1, 1997
City: Grand Junction, CO
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 x 11.1
The World of Dinosaurs sheet depicts two scenes - one from Colorado during the Jurassic period (about 150 million years ago) and one from Montana during the Cretaceous period (approximately 75 million years ago.)
Mounted in a Berlin museum is a Brachiosaurus skeleton measuring 80 feet long and 39 feet high. In life, the creature probably weighed 75 tons and was capable of holding its head 42 feet in the air. Until recently, Brachiosaurus (BRAK-ee-uh-sawr-us) was thought to be the largest land animal that ever lived. But the discovery of a nine-foot-long shoulder blade bone suggests other dinosaurs, dubbed the Ultra and Supersaurus, attained lengths of over 100 feet and weights of 100 to 150 tons.
Brachiosaurus differed from other giant plant eaters in that his front legs were longer than his back legs, giving a head-to-tail slant to his backbone. Like a giraffe, he sought food in high rather than in low places. Food was plentiful during the Jurassic Period, a time when forests developed and spread. And he needed a lot of it – three or more tons a day. (It’s been estimated that the Ultra or Supersaurus consumed four to five tons a day.)
Like other giant plant-eating dinosaurs, the Brachiosaurus lived in herds that roamed about, browsing on leaves. Extremely slow moving, its main defense was its enormous size. And although an Allosaurus may have tried to seize a stray young one or a sick adult, it would never attack a healthy, full-grown Brachiosaurus.