Mammuthus primigenius, Woolly Mammoth, Pleistocene Epoch
Date of Issue
September 26, 1994
Prehistoric Life in Canada, The Age of Mammals
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Rolf P. Harder.
To launch Stamp Month 1994, the fourth and final set in the Prehistoric Life in Canada series is being issued on September 26, 1994. Mammals appeared about 190 million years ago, and became dominant after extinction of dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. Mammals are warm-blooded, hairy animals with backbones, possessing four-chambered hearts and diaphragms to help breathing. Most give birth rather than laying eggs, and all feed their young from milk-producing mammary glands unique to the class Mammalia. The four depicted here are long since extinct. The woolly mammoth probably originated in north-central Eurasia, spreading westward to England and Spain and eastward via the Bering Isthumus to the tundra-like regions of North America from Alaska to the Atlantic Coastal Shelf. A great deal is known about its appearance due to the discovery of several well-preserved carcasses in frozen ground in Siberia and from the study of many detailed carvings, engravings and murals by Stone Age (Paleolithic) artists. Often used as a symbol of the ice age, the woolly mammoth reached the size of Asiatic elephants to which it is closely related. Derived from steppe mammoths, woolly mammoths were first recorded in deposits of the second last glaction 150,000 years ago in Eurasia. As time progressed its physical characteristics changed in order for it to survive under increasingly cold conditions. In Canada it is known to have existed in all areas except Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. One of Canada's best specimens is a skeleton of an adult female from Whitestone River YK, that is about 30,000 years old. This set concludes the Prehistoric Life in Canada series begun in 1990 with four stamps featuring early life forms that dwelled in the water. The second set in 1991 recalled "The Age of Primitive Vertebrates", with two early marine creatures, a land reptile, and an early tree. Last year's set, "The Age of Reptiles", featured three dinosaurs and a marine reptile.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 3, No. 5, 1994, p. 6, 8-9.
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