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Spanning some 80 million years, the Cretaceous period ended 66 million years ago when an asteroid collided with Earth. The period’s high sea levels meant that large portions of the landmass were under water, but on dry land dinosaurs such as struthiosaurius austriacus thrived. Protected by body armour, this small yet fearsome creature is brought to life on the third coin in our fascinating Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead series.
The dinosaur’s remains were discovered in a coal mine south of Vienna in 1855 by geologist Eduard Suess and palaeontologist Ferdinand Stoliczka, along with those of a pterosaur and a raptor. These are shown on the coin‘s obverse above the timeline, which both links the coin to the other four geologic periods explored in the series and provides a sense of continuity. The coin’s reverse is illustrated with a typical landscape from the period, in which a zalmoxes protects its eggs from a hungry struthiosaurius austriacus.
Struck in Proof quality only to a maximum mintage of 50,000. (text: Austrian Mint)
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