Jul 042014
 

Megalania was a giant Australian goanna or monitor lizard that lived during the Pleistocene epoch.

This incredible creature was the largest of its genus to live in Australia and possibly the world. It was the biggest carnivore to have existed here during the last two million years, and research has suggested that it is likely to have possessed venom glands, possibly making it the largest venomous vertebrate ever to have existed.

Megalania

Megalania and Genyornis – reconstruction illustration by Peter Trusler.

Megalania bones found on the Darling Downs in Queensland were first analysed in 1858 by Richard Owen, the brilliant naturalist who coined the term ‘dinosaur’. Owen suggested that the complete animal would have had an overall length of 20 feet – much bigger than any lizard known at the time.

Megalania is believed to have died out around 20 – 30,000 years ago as the Australian continent dried and its prey became less numerous. This makes it entirely feasible that the first people to arrive in Australia would have lived alongside – and been extremely wary of – this formidable lizard!

The Megalania 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin is the fifth and final release from our Australian Megafauna series featuring extraordinary images by the world-renowned paleo-illustrator Peter Trusler.

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For more information about this series click here.

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Jun 032014
 

The third coin from the heart-warming Mother’s Love series features a mother giraffe and her calf nuzzling in the savannah. Struck by The Perth Mint from 1/2oz of 99.99% pure silver, and available in a presentation case and shipper, the coin is limited to an issue of 4,500.

For your chance to win this stunning coin, simply rearrange the following letters to solve the anagram.

Clue: The giraffe’s favourite food source

ATeaEaterChic

How to enter: Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au marking your reply ‘June 2014 Anagram Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Entries close on 30 June 2014. Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email. Terms and conditions.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for notification of anagrams and other great coin competitions.

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Last month’s winner: Darla Coon, Ohio, USA for the correct answer ‘Human Laughter’

May 192014
 

SCORPION-Presentation-Case---openSome people are surprised to learn that scorpions live all over Australia. Not just confined to dry desert areas, scorpions inhabit cooler and wetter habitats and can certainly be found in Australian gardens under logs and rocks and even in people’s houses!

The good news is that none of the really lethal species live here. Nevertheless, be wary as Australian scorpions can still inflict a painful sting resulting in swelling and pain lasting for several hours. Always seek medical attention if stung!

A scorpion is easily identified by its long tail, eight legs and a pair of pincers on long arms. The pincers hold down prey which the scorpion paralyses with the venomous tip of its tail.

Generally, scorpions feed on arthropods such as beetles, cockroaches, spiders, slaters, centipedes and millipedes. The only known specialist scorpion is Australia’s Isometroides vescus, which hunts burrowing spiders – especially trapdoor spiders.

These bold invaders crash their victim’s home, subdue and eat the spider, and then take up residence in the vacant burrow!

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Deadly and Dangerous – Spider Hunting Scorpion 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The ninth coin in the Deadly & Dangerous Series portrays Australia’s Spider-Hunting Scorpion. Struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, no more than 5,000 of these superbly coloured coins will be released, each housed in a high-gloss timber case accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

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Apr 112014
 

The first two coins in this absolutely gorgeous 1/2oz silver proof coin series have now been released.The Lioness and Asian Elephant releases will be joined in forthcoming months by coins portraying the love been a mother and baby Giraffe, Bear and Orangutan.MothersLovex2

While each coin is available individually, there is also a subscription option  suitable for those determined to complete the series without fear of missing a release.

More details.

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Mar 192014
 

Covered in spikes, the Thorny Devil is a fearsome-looking lizard.

In fact, it is totally harmless. At 20 centimetres long, this slow-moving creature feeds exclusively on ants – over 1,000 a day!

Living in arid areas of Australia, those spikes come in extremely useful. They help funnel rain and moisture to its mouth via grooves in its skin.

The spikes are difficult to swallow too, deterring would-be predators.

When threatened, the Thorny Devil dips its head, presenting the knob on its neck as a kind of false head. This is also useful in surviving an attack.

Another amazing thing about the Thorny Devil is that it can change colour, providing camouflage in the desert or spinifex.

Thorny Devil

A new release from Australia’s Remarkable Reptiles, this coin depicts a Thorny Devil Lizard.

One of Australia’s most remarkable reptiles, the Thorny Devil is superbly depicted on this 2014 1oz silver proof coin.

With a mintage of just 5,000, the coin is presented in a wooden presentation case accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Click here to find out more.

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