PEI

Canada Post puts ancient reptile found on P.E.I. on new stamp series

A reptile that roamed Prince Edward Island before the dinosaurs, more than a quarter of a billion years ago, will be featured in a new Canada Post stamp series.

Mammal-like Dimetrodon borealis was discovered in 1845 during a well excavation in French River

Dimetrodon borealis was discovered in 1845 and will be featured in a new series of stamps from Canada Post. (Canada Post)

A reptile that roamed Prince Edward Island before the dinosaurs, more than a quarter of a billion years ago, will be featured in a new Canada Post stamp series.

The postal service announced on Thursday the stamps will feature five ancient reptile species, the fossils of which were uncovered in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and P.E.I. 

The upper jaw bone of the Dimetrodon borealis was discovered in 1845 during a well excavation in French River, near the Island's North Shore. The bone was found in a layer of shale by a farmer digging the well.

Older than the dinosaurs

The discovery was originally hailed as Canada's first dinosaur, but paleontologists later realized the fossil actually pre-dated the dinosaurs. They described the beast as a mammal-like reptile with serrated teeth, which likely had a sail on its back for display. 

When Dimetrodon borealis lived 270 million years ago, the Island was hot, dry and located near the equator.

The stamps feature the artwork of Sergey Krasovskiy, and were designed by Vancouver's Subplot Design Inc. Each stamp features the five species being reflected in a glassy dinosaur eye. 

The four-colour stamps will be available in booklets of 10 permanent stamps. A larger uncut press sheet will feature an enlargement of a tyrannosaur, whose eye is in the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets — each containing five stamps.

now