1997 32¢ Daspletosaurus
Issue Date: May 1, 1997
City: Grand Junction, CO
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 x 11.1
When Daspletosaurus (das-PLEE-tuh-sawr-us) was found in Alberta, Canada, he looked very much like Tyrannosaurus Rex, the mightiest carnivore that ever lived. It turned out that he was a close relative – just a smaller version.
Though smaller, Daspletosaurus was a terrifying creature in his own right, measuring 30 feet long and weighing between 3 and 4 tons (in contrast to Tyrannosaurus’ 50-foot length and 7 tons). He had bird-like feet with three long-taloned toes pointing forward, and a small dewclaw pointing backward for balance. He often sat upright on his tail, letting his keen sense of smell and hawk-like eyes detect the presence and location of prey. He walked and ran on his hind legs, using his short, virtually useless forelimbs to help him get up from a lying position.
Like his predecessor Allosaurus, Daspletosaurus had a massive head, complete with razor-sharp teeth, hinged jaws, and powerful jaw muscles. Large eye sockets and nasal passages suggest that he had the eyesight of a hawk and the nose of a bloodhound – essential tools for survival. Some scientists believe Daspletosaurus, along with his relatives, was too ungainly to hunt successfully, relying instead on scavenging. Others argue that a creature so equipped was no doubt a fierce hunter.