PREHISTORIC LIFE: PLESIOSAURUS 2020 Congo 1oz .9999 BU silver coin
The second issue of the series “Prehistoric Life“ from the Congo is dedicated to the PLESIOSAURUS. The first complete skeleton of Plesiosaurus was discovered by early paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning in Sinemurian (Early Jurassic)-age rocks of the lower Lias Group in December 1823. Plesiosaurus was one of the first of the “antediluvian reptiles” to be discovered and excited great interest in Victorian England. It was so-named (“near lizard”) by William Conybeare and Henry De la Beche, to indicate that it was more like a normal reptile than Ichthyosaurus, which had been found in the same rock strata just a few years earlier. Plesiosaurus is the archetypical genus of Plesiosauria and the first to be described, hence lending its name to the order. The type species of Plesiosaurus, P. dolichodeirus, was named and described by Conybeare in 1824 on the basis of Anning’s original finds.
It is distinguishable by its small head, long and slender neck, broad turtle-like body, a short tail, and two pairs of large, elongated paddles. It lends its name to the order Plesiosauria, of which it is an early, but fairly typical member. It contains only one species, the type, Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus. Plesiosaurus was a moderately sized plesiosaur that grew to a length of about 3.5 metres.
Plesiosaurus fed mainly on clams and snails, and are thought to have eaten belemnites, fish and other prey as well. Its U-shaped jaw and sharp teeth would have been like a fish trap. It propelled itself by the paddles, the tail being too short to be of much use. Its neck could have been used as a rudder when navigating during a chase. Plesiosaurus gave live birth to live young in the water like sea snakes. The young might have lived in estuaries before moving out into the open ocean. It has been postulated that the long neck of Plesiosaurus would have been a hindrance when trying to speed up, any bend in the neck creating turbulences. If that is the case then Plesiosaurus would have had to keep its neck straight to achieve good acceleration, something that would make hunting difficult. For this reason it may be possible that these animals would actually lie in wait for prey to come close instead of trying to pursue them. (Source: Wikipedia)
The main art comprises an image of our primordial seas with a Plesiosaurus swimming with its mouth ready to capture prey.
Limited to just 10,000 pieces, this proof-like bullion coin comes with a capsule.