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Tremble in terror at the toothy beasts that called our country home many millions of years ago. Subplot Design Inc. was commissioned by Canada Post to create a 5 stamp set for the second issue in the popular Dinos of Canada series. With the help of the Canadian Museum of Nature, dinosaurs with fossils found across Canada, representing vastly different geological times were chosen for the stamp series.
Subplot Design created an interesting storyline for the stamps with each eye as its unique frame. Focusing on the reflection of the dinosaur, the stamps illustrate what prehistoric prey might see when looking at its surroundings as a preditor approaches; inspiring the imagination without having to depict an entire scene.
The captivating design presented some unusual challenges. The creature needed to appear as a reflection on a curved surface, making it difficult to balance the distortion in the perspective with the very technical – and scientifically accurate – details.
The search for such a specialized artist led Subplot to Ukrainian Sergey Krasovskiy who, as one of the world’s best paleo-artists, specializes in the illustration of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.
Not all of the 5 prehistoric animals featured on the stamps are actually dinosaurs, but 2 fit the bill.
In Alberta, we unearth two traditional dinosaurs: the tiny, birdlike Troodon inequalis and the boneheaded Acrotholus audeti. In British Columbia, we find the Comox Valley elasmosaur, a vicious marine reptile, while in Saskatchewan, we dig up the relatively recent Cypretherium coarctatum, one of a group of mammals nicknamed “terminator pigs.” Moving east, to Prince Edward Island, we come across an ancient, mammal-like reptile called Dimetrodon borealis.
The five stamps are available in booklets of 10 permanent stamps printed by Lowe-Martin. Each souvenir sheet measures consists of five stamps. The cancel image on the Official First Day Cover features dinosaur tracks with the cancel site as Courtenay, B.C., where the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre is home to the Comox Valley elasmosaur.