A set of stamps charting the age of the dinosaurs and recognising the work of 19th century fossil hunter Mary Anning have been released by Royal Mail.

The palaeontologist features on the stamps, along with three of her discoveries, including a near-complete Jurassic fish fossil she collected in the 1820s.

Anning’s discoveries on the Dorset coast, near her home in Lyme Regis, formed crucial contributions to scientists’ understanding of prehistoric life on Earth. She is regarded as one of the greatest fossil hunters of the 19th century.

David Gold, the director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “It is fitting in the week of International Women’s Day that we pay tribute to Mary Anning with four images of some of the fossils she discovered.

Great British Life:  One of the 19th century’s greatest fossil hunters, Mary Anning One of the 19th century’s greatest fossil hunters, Mary Anning (Image: Royal Mail/PA Wire)

“She was one of the greatest fossil hunters of the 19th century, making a major contribution to our understanding of the majestic creatures that roamed the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago.”

The main collection of eight stamps features dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles from the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras. They were designed by Joshua Dunlop, a digital concept illustrator, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum’s palaeontology department who guided on scientific accuracy.

The set includes Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus and Diplodocus stamps.

Maxine Lister, head of licensing at the Natural History Museum, said: “We were thrilled when Royal Mail approached us to collaborate on these brilliant sets of stamps.

Great British Life: Plesiosaurus macrocephalusPlesiosaurus macrocephalus (Image: Royal Mail/PA Wire)

“It’s perfect timing too, as we have just celebrated the 200th anniversary since the naming of the first dinosaur, the Megalosaurus, which features as part of this collection.

“Our mission is to create advocates for the planet and we hope these stunning designs inspire everyone to discover a bit more about our natural world, whether that be the creatures that lived here before us, or the pioneering figures who shaped our understanding of them today.”

The stamps and a range of collectible products are available to pre-order from Tuesday on the Royal Mail website and by telephone on 03457 641641.

A presentation pack of the set is priced at £18.90 and the stamps go on general sale on Tuesday March 12.

Great British Life: Dapedium politumDapedium politum (Image: Royal Mail/PA Wire)