In Brief

New Dinosaur Stamps From the USPS Illustrate Our Extinct Past

These lenticular stamps depict two histories: one set in a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and another when only their bones remained.

Set of T. rex-themed stamps issued by the US Postal Service on August 29, 2019. Image courtesy of the USPS.

Big news for philatelists and paleontologists! In late August, the US Postal Service issued a set of stamps featuring everyone’s favorite tyrant king of the lizards, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. The art is by Julius Csotonyi, whose murals adorn Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History. A press release from the USPS highlights the inspiration and evolution of the series:

Four dynamic designs on a pane of 16 stamps depict the awe-inspiring dinosaur in growth stages from infancy to adulthood.

One design illustrates a face-to-face encounter with a T. rex approaching through a forest clearing; another shows the same young adult T. rex with a young Triceratops — both dinosaurs shown in fossil form.

The third and fourth stamps depict a newly hatched T. rex covered with downy feathers and a bare-skinned juvenile T. rex chasing a primitive mammal.

And I know what you’re thinking: SOLD! But wait, it gets even cooler! Two of the four stamps feature a lenticular overlay, causing the bashful forest clearing T. rex to lunge and roar (classic!), and the tender moment being shared between young T. rex and Triceratops (presumably some kind of The Fox and the Hound type situation) to slowly morph into an arrangement of bones.

Perhaps life is nothing more than the time we kill before slowly becoming fossils, but at least with stamps like these, we have something to enjoy while we’re still waiting for the next extinction-level event.

#USPSTRexStamps are available wherever stamps are sold!

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