It’s a well-known fact that large sections of Australian waters are shark and crocodile infested, instilling fear in the hearts and minds of anyone that dares to venture into the wondrous blue.
But which one of these predators is our country’s most deadly, we hear you ask, and why?
Few creatures conjure up more terror than the great white shark, with many imagining them to be hungry for human blood. In reality, such attacks are rare. Researchers believe that rather than preying on humans to eat them, sharks are instead taking a bite out of curiosity. Not a very nice thought though, is it!
As the largest predatory fish in existence, the great white can grow to an average of 4.6m in length and is firmly at the top of the aquatic food chain. It has such a strong sense of smell that it can detect blood in the water up to 5km away, meaning it can easily locate and demolish its prey pretty effectively. This beast is also equipped with 300 extremely sharp teeth, arranged in up to 7 rows, further adding to the fear factor!
Australia’s saltwater crocodile or ‘saltie’, as it is affectionately referred to, is even more monstrous in size than the great white, reaching a staggering 6.5m in length. Known as the largest living reptile on the planet in terms of body mass, these aggressive hunters are found in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. The saltie possesses the strongest bite of any animal and it is said to be 10 times more powerful than that of a great white shark. They are masters of camouflage and can strike at amazing speed. Over time, they have evolved into effective killing machines.
These opportunistic creatures will eat whatever they can find, meaning humans and most animals are definitely on the menu! In fact, a 5.5m saltwater crocodile called Brutus was recently pictured with a bull shark between its jaws in Kakadu’s Adelaide River. Incidentally, this famous 80 year-old, two tonne creature is missing its right foreleg, believed to have been torn off in a fight with a shark when he was younger!
Both the salt water crocodile and the great white shark are pre-historic creatures that have been around for millions of years, making them two of evolution’s greatest success stories. With such predatory similarities, many have questioned who would win in a battle! According to various social media platforms, it is debated that if such an encounter would ever occur that both animals would end up maiming each other. This would be down to their individual bite force, tooth type, armour, and jaw size!
This month, The Perth Mint is honouring these two lethal brutes with the release of a
- 2015 Australian Saltwater Crocodile 1oz Silver Proof Coin and a
- 2015 Great White Shark 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin.
(There’s also an extremely limited 2015 Great White Shark 1oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin.)
Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, each coin is housed in a display case with a superbly illustrated shipper, and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.