The prehistoric creatures that roamed the land before us inspire a mix of awe, curiosity and even fear. This three-coin series captures some of their fiercest and most wondrous attributes. Mintage for each coin is 10,000, HST/GST exempt.
Quetzalcoatlus "The Terror of the Sky":
The reverse design by Canadian artist Dino Pulera features an intricately engraved rendition of how the largest known creature to ever possess flying abilities, the Quetzalcoatlus likely appeared, and was reviewed for scientific accuracy by paleontologist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. The use of selective colour brings this long-gone species to life in incredible detail; soaring with only an occasional flap of its enormous wings, the terrifyingly large reptile keeps one wing bent towards the viewer while the left wing is outstretched. Its long, pointed beak is open wide, releasing a cry into the wind as it prepares to swoop down to find prey. The coin’s own silver surface recreates radiant rays of bright sunlight peeking through the clouds above the distant mountains, which convey how high the plane-sized creature would soar above the conifer forest below.
Styracosaurus "The Spiked Lizard":
With a long nasal horn—and six more horns that extend out from behind its neck frill—the stout Styracosaurus cuts quite the formidable figure for an herbivore! This “spiked lizard” of the Late Cretaceous period is the subject of the second coin in the continuing Day of the Dinosaurs series, which showcases the wondrous, even fearsome qualities of Canada’s prehistoric creatures.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi features a detailed depiction of Styracosaurus albertensis, and was reviewed for scientific accuracy by paleontologists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Bold selective colour helps bring this prehistoric species to life in extraordinary detail, while the unique perspective creates the impression that Styracosaurus is stampeding towards the viewer. The three-quarter profile provides a detailed view of its rhinoceros-like appearance, from the stout body to its four short legs. Its toothless beak is open, as though this herbivore is emitting sound. But the eye naturally wanders towards Styracosaurus’s most famous features of all: its horns and neck frill. The positioning of the dinosaur allows for a close view of the single nasal horn that gives this herbivore an intimidating appearance. Glancing towards the bony frill, the uppermost pair of horns rise up, while the lower horns are pointed to the side; even the pointed jugal horn on its cheek is visible. Surrounding this ceratopsian dinosaur is the lush, semi-tropical vegetation that dominated Alberta during the Late Cretaceous period, all rendered through finely detailed engraving.
Edmontonia "The Armoured Tank":
With a heavily armoured body, Edmontonia was equipped to protect itself if attacked. This ankylosaur was one of the last armoured herbivores of the Late Cretaceous period; now, selective colour brings this species back to life once more as part of a series that highlights the fearsome qualities of Canada’s prehistoric creatures.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi features a highly detailed depiction of Edmontonia, and was reviewed for scientific accuracy by paleontologists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Viewed in three-quarter profile, this colourful herbivore lumbers across the prehistoric landscape on its four powerful legs. Its pear-shaped head is closest to the viewer; but its rounded outline stands in contrast to the imposing appearance of the spike-covered armour, which protects its neck, back and tail. The lush vegetation that dominated Alberta’s landscape during the Late Cretaceous period fills the background around Edmontonia, and all are beautifully rendered through finely detailed engraving.
An artistic way to learn more about the species whose fossils connect us with a distant past, and the way Canada’s landscape has evolved over millions of years.