Jun 072012

The Manta Ray is the final release in our Australian Sea Life II – The Reef series. What a marvellous opportunity to learn more about this mysterious sea creature.

  1. The Manta Ray is the largest ray and one of the largest living fish, excluding whales and sharks.
  2. The species is found over areas of continental shelf throughout the world’s tropics and subtopics. The Manta Ray is very common in the tropical waters of Australia.
  3. The Manta Ray can reach immense sizes of three to seven metres (with reports of large specimens measuring more than nine metres) and can weigh in excess of 1,350 kilograms.
  4. The graceful movement of the Manta Ray’s fins through the water is very similar to that of a bird in flight. It is also a fast swimmer and can leap out of the water.
  5. Being ‘ovoviviparous’ the Manta Ray’s young are wrapped in a thin-shell that hatches inside the mother.
  6. Manta Rays are filter feeders and consume plankton.
  7. Because of their size, there are very few Manta Rays kept in captivity.
  8. The species can lose their protective mucus membrane if they are touched by humans.
  9. The Manta Ray doesn’t have a nose, and its mouth is located on the top of the head instead of on the bottom.
  10. Unlike the dangerous Sting Ray, the Manta Ray is not harmful, and does not possess a stinger.
Australian Sea Life II – The Reef Coin Series

Hawksbill Turtle, Starfish, Surgeonfish, Octopus, Manta Ray – each shipper joins with others in the series to create a beautiful underwater scene.

Jun 052012

The June Bulletin includes ten new coin releases, including the Discover Australia proof platinum coins for 2012; a 5oz Year of the Dragon silver proof coin; and the Manta Ray 1/2oz silver proof coin – our final release from Australian Sea Life II. Browse these and other new products in the latest digital Bulletin now:

Share the new Bulletin on your blog or website cut & paste the embed code

Mar 022012

The highly anticipated Discover Australia gold proof coins are released this month, and feature iconic Australian animals. This beautiful series is well worth a look.

For lovers of marine history be sure to see our fabulous tribute to the centenary of RMS Titanic.

For young collectors, the 2012 releases showcase animal athletes – amazing creatures that really do accomplish incredible feats.

On the subject of amazing creatures, the octopus is depicted in the next coin in the Australian Sea Life II series. Considered the most intelligent of invertebrates, this marine species has two eyes, four pairs of arms and three hearts!

Along with the new designs in the Discover Australia series, there are another six releases on offer from The Perth Mint in March:

  • 2012 Discover Australia
    Gold Proof Coins
  • Australian Lunar Series II
    2012 Year of the Dragon
    1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin
  • 100th Anniversary of RMS Titanic
    2012 1oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Australian Sea Life II – The Reef – Octopus
    2012 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin
  • 2012 Young Collectors
    Animal Athletes – Kangaroo
    $1 Coin
  • 2012 ANZAC Day
    $1 Coin
  • 2012 Australian Olympic Team
    1oz Silver Proof Coin (Australia Only)

For comprehensive details please visit our Recent Releases webpage.

Nov 172011

You may be as fascinated to learn that there are about 80 species of Surgeonfish. One of the most popular is the electric-blue variety represented by the optimistic, caring and sociable ‘Dory’ in the hit-movie Finding Nemo!

This striking fish is known by a bewildering variety of names. A few include Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Hippo Tang, Wedge-Tail Blue Tang, Palette Surgeonfish and Flagtail Surgeonfish. To avoid the confusion, scientists know it as Paracanthurus hepatus.

picture courtesy of www.montereybayaquarium.org

We were curious about how scientific names for plants and animals are devised. It didn’t take long to pick up the trail of Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, whose story (luckily for us) comes complete with an Australian twist!

Back in the 17th and early 18th centuries, plants were given long Latin phrases for names that reflected their particular botanical features. As more plants were identified, names became longer and longer, and more and more difficult to remember and use.

Carl Linnaeus

Linnaeus, who was born in 1707, was to change all that. In 1735 he introduced a method of naming plants that he later applied to animals. It brought simplicity and consistency to a befuddling array of previous systems, classifying each organism according to its physical attributes.

In the words of the Linnean Society of London, he gave “a one-word name such as Rhododendron or Equus to a genus and a two-word name such as Rhododendron ponticum or Equus caballus to an individual species within the genus.”

Known as ‘binomial nomenclature’, it answered the dire need for a standardised approach. No wonder it was applauded and universally accepted, and still provides the basis for naming organisms to this day.

During his work to catalogue all known living things, Linnaeus appointed students to undertake botanical and zoological expeditions throughout the world. Known as his ‘apostles’, they included a Daniel Solander, the first university educated scientist to set foot on Australian soil.

Linnaeus had advised Solander to go to England where, luck would have it, he met Joseph Banks. In 1768, the influential naturalists invited Solander to join the scientific staff of Cook’s Endeavour expedition to the Pacific.

As we know, after visiting Tahiti and sailing around New Zealand, Cook sighted the east coast of Australia, tracking it northwards to Botany Bay where the two scientists began collecting Australian plant specimens for description using the Linnaean method of classification.

Subsequently, the ship sailed into the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, and area teeming with beautiful blue Paracanthurus hepatus.

Sugeonfish coin from Australian Sea Life II

Click to view the latest coin from Australian Sea Life II.

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Sep 062011

This month’s new products from The Perth Mint:

  • Australian Lunar Coin Series II
    2012 Year of the Dragon Gold Proof Coins
  • Australian Lunar Coin Series II
    2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Proof Coins
  • Australian Olympic Team
    2012 2oz Gold Proof Coin
  • Australian Sea Life II – The Reef – Starfish
    2011 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Young Collectors
    2011 Mythical Creatures
    $1 Nine-Coin Collection
  • Australian Bush Babies – Bilby
    2011 Stamp and Coin Cover

For full details, download the new Bulletin, or visit our Recent Releases webpage.

Jun 072011

Here’s a list of our new coin releases for the month of June. Read more in our new Bulletin, or visit the Recent Releases webpage.

  • Australian Sea Life II – Hawksbill Turtle
    2011 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Australian Koala Gold Coin Series
    2011 Proof Issue
  • Australian Koala Silver Coin Series
    2011 5oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    2011 1oz Silver Proof Coins
  • Deadly and Dangerous – Australia’s Box Jellyfish
    2011 1oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Wallabies – Men of Gold
    1oz Silver Proof Coin
  • Centenary of RMC Duntroon 1911
    2011 – Stamp and Coin Cover