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This 1/2 oz .9999-fine Silver $4 coin was designed by Canadian artist Kerri Burnett. The design features a complete Triceratops skull, a rare discovery that was made in Saskatchewan in 1967. A selective finish has been applied to the reverse of the coin to give its design an aged, fossil-like appearance. In fact, this technique ensures no two coins are exactly alike. The design was developed in close collaboration with palaeontologists at Alberta’s Royal Tyrell Museum and is an original and compelling keepsake of one of humanity’s great fascinations. The obverse features the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, created by artist Susanna Blunt.
Triceratops horridus (literally, "frightful three-horned face") was a member of the ceratopsid family of horned dinosaurs, and is believed to represent the ultimate evolution of this line. There is much debate among paleontologists as to the function of its three horns and bony frill. Some argue that Triceratops might have aggressively charged would-be predators, much like a modern rhino. This speculation has led to the recurring theme in dinosaur-related fiction of the classic battle between Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex. Other paleobiologists believe Triceratops' horns were best suited for group defense, in a circle-the-wagons formation. Most, however, agree that they played some role in courtship display.
Triceratops was not a small beast. A mature adult could easily measure 30 feet long, reach 10 feet in height, and weigh over 13 tons (26,000 pounds)! The pair of horns over its eyes were each about 3 feet long. Although they probably filled the same ecological niche as the rhinoceros, a more apt comparison, at least size-wise, might be to an M1 Abrams main battle tank! Triceratops were herbivores, but it is unknown whether they lived singly, in small family groups, or in larger herds. Interestingly, each Triceratops had between 400 and 800 teeth in its mouth, depending upon the size of the individual!