Five-stamp ‘Dinos of Canada’ series hits shelves today

Canada Post’s popular “Dinos of Canada” series isn’t extinct quite yet; in fact, the latest offering – this in the form of five stamps, a souvenir sheet and a first-day cover – is hitting the shelves today from coast to coast to coast.

This sequel breathes new life into five fossilized finds that represent Canada’s wealth of paleontological discoveries. In Alberta, two traditional dinosaurs are unearthed: the tiny, bird-like Troodon inequalis and the boneheaded Acrotholus audeti. In British Columbia, the Comox Valley elasmosaur, a vicious marine reptile, is found. Meanwhile, in Saskatchewan, the relatively recent Cypretherium coarctatum, one of a group of mammals nicknamed “terminator pigs,” is dug up. Lastly, Prince Edward Island, there’s the ancient, mammal-like reptile known as Dimetrodon borealis.

The boneheaded Acrotholus audeti, of Alberta, is featured on this stamp.

The boneheaded Acrotholus audeti is featured in the new stamp series, which was issued today.

The issue was designed by Roy White, Matthew Clark, Steph Gibson and Liz Wurzinger, of Vancouver’s Subplot Design.

“We knew this project would be illustration-heavy and the subject matter would be very specific,” said White. “Our first challenge was to find an engaging illustrator – one who was also an expert in the subject.”

The search for such a specialized illustrator led the team to Ukrainian paleo-artist Sergey Krasovskiy, who specializes in the illustration of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures. Although Krasovskiy’s work has graced the pages of many textbooks and popular magazines, including National Geographic, these are his first stamps.

The Comox Valley elasmosaur, a vicious marine reptile, is depicted on this ‘Dinos of Canada’ stamp.

The Comox Valley elasmosaur, a vicious marine reptile, is depicted on this ‘Dinos of Canada’ stamp.

“When I start an illustration, I visualize it in a magazine,” explained Krasovskiy. “I couldn’t do the same with a small stamp, so I printed a stamp-sized frame to actually see the size I was working with.”

The 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.

“It’s not just an illustration to me,” adds Krasovskiy, “I enjoy the process. I hope that it reflects in my work, and that the audience feels that passion.”

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