Megacerops, Oligocene 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. Megacerops, one of about 40 members of the family Brontotheriidae, was the largest land mammal of its time. Somewhat rhino-like in appearance with a large horned face, it stood 2 metres tall at the shoulder, was 3.2 metres long and may have weighed nearly 4 tonnes. Megacerops is distinguished by its long cylindrical horns that extend upward in a "Y"-shape from the nasal bones. The forehead is long and saddle shaped, with eyes set well forward. The body is massive and the limbs robust - adapted to carry a considerable bulk. It was probably a browser, feeding on trees and shrubs of the woodland. Common in western North America, it lived near what is now Eastend SK about 37 million years ago in a parkland type of environment along with giant pigs and small deer-like grazers. 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. 6-9.
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