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India 1997

The set of four stamps issued by India in 1997 commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and show two plant fossils. Professor Birbal Sahni (1891–1949) was the first Indian to revive interest in the study of Indian plant fossils. He saw the potential of palaeobotanical research in India in understanding plant evolution, applying knowledge gained for the benefit of human welfare. The artwork of the two stamps seen right show the extinct plants Williamsonia sewardiana and Pentoxylon, while the fossils seen left are Glossopteris and Birbalsahnia divyadarshanii, the latter named after the palaeobotanists Birbal Sahni and Divya Darshan Pant (1919-2001).

Czechoslovakia 1968

The 23rd International Geological Congress to be held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1968 was the largest since the first IGC was held in 1878 in Paris. Unfortunately it was cancelled by the organisers on 23rd August 1968, two days after Warsaw Pact forces invaded the country. The stamps issued to commemorate the Congress feature fossils found in Czechoslovakia. The stamps depict: 30h – Hypophylloceras bizonatum; 60h – Palaeobatrachus grandipes; 80h – A cross-section of a mineral; 1Kcs – Chlamys gigas; and the 1.60 Kcs – Selenopeltis buchi buchi.

Algeria 1952

The two stamps above commemorated the XIX International Geological Congress, held in Algeria in 1952. The 15F stamp shows a fossil of an ammonite, Berbericeras sekikensis. The 30F shows a phonolite volcanic rock dyke in Hoggar, Algeria.

Ethiopia 1977

Ethiopia produced these fossil shell stamps in 1977. They show: 5c Terebratula Abyssinica; 10c Terebratula Subalata; 25c Cuculloea Lefeburiaua; 50c Ostrea (Gryphia) Plicatissima; and 90c Trigonia Cousobrina.

Hungary 1969

The year 1969 was the 100th anniversary of the Hungarian State Institute of Geology and the above commemorative stamp set was issued by the Hungarian postal service. It includes minerals and fossils stamps.

Greenland 2008

Greenland issued stamps in 2008 and 2009 with fossils as the subject. Above left is the worm-like Halkrieria evangelista, discovered in Cambran Period rocks on the Danish island Bornholm. The fossil on the stamp was found in North Greenland in 1980. The middle stamp shows Ichthyostega stensioei, one of the first amphibians. The first specimen of Ichthyostega was collected by Swedish expeditions in East Greenland in the 1920s and 1930s. The fossil on the right hand stamp is Eudimorphodon cromptonellus, a small pterodactyl and one of the first vertebrates to develop the ability to fly. The specimen was found by an expedition from Harvard University at the Carlsberg Fjord in East Greenland in the 1990s.

Greenland 2009

Then we have the 2009 examples. First the “horsetail” Schizoneura carcinoides, once common in East Greenland. Scaphites rosenkrantzi, seen on the middle stamp, is an ammonite from the Cretaceous period that was found in rocks on the Nuussuaq Peninsula in West Greenland. The fossil of a Mallotus villosus, or the capelin (right), is a small fish with a distinctive smell that is still common today in the Arctic seas. The capelin, however, can also still be found as fossils in West Greenland and appears identical to its living relatives.

Slovakia 2006

This minisheet from Slovakia was produced in 2006. In geological and paleontological terms, the abandoned sandpit Sandberg (left stamp), situated in Devin – a borough of the capital, Bratislava, is one of the most important sites in Slovakia. This protected site is extremely rich in fossil remains of marine coastal and terrestrial fauna and flora. In Šomoška, Slovakia is a 9 metre-high stone “waterfall” (stamp right) composed of hexagonal basalt pillars. This unique rock formation formed around four million years ago when basalt lava hardened into these unique columns. It’s one of only seven similar formations found in the world.

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