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Australia 2008-P Discover Australia - UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Kakadu National Park & Saltwater Crocodile $1 Pure Silver Dollar Proof with Color DX1

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64343
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Product Description

The grandeur of Australia's northern national park, home of the huge saltwater crocodile, is celebrated on this frosted cameo silver proof with color!

Sold out at the Mint!The immense and grand landscape of Kakadu National Park can be found in Australia's remote Northern Territory. The sweeping landscapes of the 7,200 square mile (nearly 5 million acre) expanse, including its important wetlands and spectacular escarpment, support a diverse range of flora and fauna, much of it rare and endangered. Kakadu is huge - measuring about 120 miles by 60 miles, it is the size of the state of Israel, about one-third the size of the island of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland!

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The magnificent Jim Jim Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia.Kakadu National Park
Highly significant to the Aboriginal people, Kakadu also contains a major concentration of ancient cave paintings and rock carvings. These offer a fascinating glimpse into a way of life many thousands of years old. Jim Jim Falls, measuring 660 feet (200 meters) in height, is the tallest waterfall in the Park, while the Arnhem Land Escarpment rises nearly 1100 feet (330 meters) above the plateau and extends approximately 300  miles (500 kilometers) along the eastern edge of the Park and into Arnhem Land. In recognition of its ecological importance and patrimonial heritage, Kakadu is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for both its natural and cultural value.

This spectacular, pure silver proof silver dollar with color, depicts waterlilies, a commonly occurring plant in the floodplains of Kakadu, and a saltwater crocodile, the reptile of most interest to visitors. Each is highlighted in frosted cameo relief, with the leaves or pads of the waterlilies accented in vibrant color!

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The Saltwater Crocodile
A massive male saltwater crocodile waits on the river bank, eyeing its potential prey.The saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living reptiles (and therefore of all living crocodilians as well). A large male can measure over 20 feet long and weigh over 2,500 pounds! The saltwater croc is found in suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and the surrounding waters. Saltwater crocodiles are known in northern Australia as "salties" (as opposed to the smaller, freshwater crocodile species colloquially called "freshies"). Due to this species' tendency to travel very long distances at sea, individual saltwater crocodiles occasionally show up in odd locales where they are not native. Vagrant individuals have historically been reported on New Caledonia, Iwo Jima, Fiji, and even in the relatively frigid Sea of Japan (thousands of miles from their native territory.)

The obverse depicts a large male saltie lying in wait in its native river habitat, with water lilies all around. Saltwater crocodiles generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes traveling far out to sea. Crocodiles compete fiercely with each other for territory, with dominant males in particular occupying the most eligible stretches of freshwater creeks and streams. Junior crocodiles are thus forced into the more marginal river systems and sometimes into the ocean. This explains the large distribution of the animal (ranging from the east coast of India to northern Australia) as well as its being found in odd places on occasion (such as the Sea of Japan). Saltwater crocodiles can swim 15 to 18 miles per hour in short bursts, but when cruising go 2 to 3 mph.

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Don't go swimming here! An Australian warning sign advises of the dangers of being eaten by a saltwater crocodile. Sudden attacks can occur at any time.A Powerful and Deadly Predator
The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator capable of taking any animal that enters its territory, either in the water or on dry land.  Domestic cattle, horse, water buffalo, sharks and gaur, all of which may weigh over a ton, are considered the largest prey taken by male crocodiles. As an ambush predator, it usually waits for its prey to get close to the water's edge before striking, using its great strength to drag the animal back into the water. Most prey animals are killed by the great jaw pressure of the crocodile, although some animals may be incidentally drowned. It is an immensely powerful animal, having the strength to drag a fully grown water buffalo into a river, or crush a full-grown bovid's skull between its jaws.

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In its deadliest attack, called the "death roll," the saltie grabs onto the animal and rolls powerfully. This throws any struggling large animal off balance making it easier to drag it into the water. The "death roll" is also used for tearing apart large animals once they are dead. The only threats to adult saltwater crocodiles are other crocodiles and humans.

One of the many pieces of original Aboriginal artwork in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia. These include both rock paintings and carvings. Some are found in caves. Of course, the saltwater croc also poses a threat to humans as well.  In Australia, attacks are rare and usually make headlines when they do occur. There are, on average, no more than one or two fatal attacks reported per year in the country. The low level of attacks is most likely due to the extensive effort by local wildlife officials to post crocodile "warning" signs at nearly every billabong, river, lake and even at some beaches and also due to the relatively well-informed nature of the local citizens.

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Technology Note
The Perth Mint of Australia employs its own proprietary colorization technology, in which the color is actually sealed on the coin. The vibrant hues and precise execution of the technology create a stunning, full-color portrait on each coin.

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Obverse
A frosted cameo portrait of a saltwater crocodile in a river, surrounded by water lilies, with the Kakadu Escarpment in the background. The legends KAKADU and DISCOVER AUSTRALIA define the theme. The Perth Mint's "P" mint mark is judiciously placed in the river near the 4:00 position along the rim. The legend 1 OZ 999 SILVER guarantees the weight and purity.

Australia 2008 Kakadu Pure Silver Dollar in full packaging Reverse
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in crowned profile facing right. This portrait, featuring Her Majesty wearing a tiara and pearl earrings, was executed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The legend ELIZABETH II and denomination also appear.

Packaging
The coin is encapsulated inside an elegant, luxury presentation case with a native Australian sheoak wood lid, protected by a full-color outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.
SpecificationsThe dramatic Arnhem Land Esccarpment rises 1000 feet above the Arnhem Land Plateau in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
Country Australia
Mint Perth Mint of Australia
Year of Issue 2008
   
Face Value One Dollar
Weight 31.135 g
Diameter 40.60 mm
Gauge (Thickness)   4.00 mm
Mintage Limit    7,500
   
Finish Proof with Color
Composition .999 Fine (Pure) Silver
Edge Reeded (milled, serrated)
   
Artist "JR" (obverse)
Ian Rank-Broadley (reverse)
Certificate Individually Numbered

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