This set of six stamps, a miniature sheet and Prestige Booklet depicts Gibraltar's prehistoric landscapes at times of lowered sea levels and also during periods of global warming when the sea reached up to 8 metres above present levels, making the Rock an island.
Most of the species in the fossil record still exist but many are restricted to reserves in Africa or the more remote parts of Europe. Others are now extinct. The particular climatic conditions of Gibraltar meant that, even in the coldest moments when Europe was engulfed in ice, many species survived in this refugium. Olives grew and tortoises lived here at the height of the last Ice Age showing that the climate was mild. Animals of the Ice Age, like Woolly Mammoth, never reached this far south either. The Neanderthals themselves lasted here much longer than anywhere else on the planet. This set gives an impression of the ecology and landscape of this Eden in the Mediterranean.
Issue date: 26 September 2007