The Age of Reptiles

The Age of Reptiles
The Age of Reptiles, a mural by Rudolph F. Zallinger. Copyright 1966, 1975, 1985, 1989 Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mini Age of Reptiles

The paleobotany division of the Yale Peabody Museum has a long rich history within the museum.  Recently, the archives of former Peabody director, paleobotany curator, Geology and Geophysics Department chair, and G+G professor, Leo J. Hickey have started to be added to the greater museum archives that are catalogued and available as finding aids online.  Some of the preliminary material to be rehoused and assessed is Dr. Hickey's teaching archives.  These include lecture notes, handouts, transparencies, exams, and many other items.  Among these are some self-addressed stamped envelopes that Dr. Hickey had obviously meant to use to send graded materials back to former students.

Leo J Hickey, 1940-2013 (

The best part of these envelopes is the stamps!  In 1970 an 'Age of Reptiles' stamp was produced as part of a natural history series by the U.S. Postal Service.  The Age of Reptiles is a mural painted on the wall of the museum and this stamp reproduces a small section.  The full mural is available to view at the top of this blog or better yet in person in the Hall of Dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum.

Stamp celebrating the mural at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Rudy Zallinger, the artist who painted the mural, was a highly respected natural history painter who not only did work for the Peabody but also Life magazine and even won a Pulitzer Fellowship in Art.   For more information on the mural and the artist check out the Peabody's website.  The project has just begun but with fun finds like this treasure the time ahead should be both rewarding and entertaining.

Set of 4 natural history stamp (