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ORCA Killer Whale Marine Life Silver Coin 5$ Tokelau 2012


Issued in legal tender in Tokelau Islands in 2012, it honors one of the biggest and dangerous mammal of the sea: the Orca. It is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales have sophisticated social structures, hunting techniques and vocal behaviours, which are passed across generations!

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Killer Whale

The Killer Whale is also called as the Orca and sometimes as the Blackfish or Seawolf. The biological name is Orcinus orca. The origin of the word Orcinus is Orcus, the god of the netherworld in Roman mythology. Orca implies resembling the shape of a cask or barrel. This whale is included in the oceanic dolphin family – Delphinidae. It can adapt itself to all oceans on the globe and is noted to be the most widely distributed mammal after the humans. The maximum density is found in the Artic, the Antartic and cold water regions. The reason of calling the whale as "Killer" is that it has powerful jaws as well as very strong teeth that fit adjacent to each other and this enables them to eat other animals. They also eat other whales. Hence, the name as "whale killer". This was reversed to "Killer Whale". The black and white coloration of the killer whale serves as a camouflage. When seen from the top, the black back mixes well with the dark water beneath them. When seen from the bottom, the white belly blends with the sunlit water above them.

The social groups of killer whales are called pods. The size of a pod is 5 to 30. Each pod comprises of males, females and young ones of diverse ages. Females and youngsters stay at the center of the pod and males are side. There are also subpods. One subpod includes mothers and daughters as well as possibly sisters and cousins. A subpod also consists of a maternal group. This maternal group has a mother and her child excluding adult daughters with their offspring. Small pods may unite to form 50-500 individuals and these are called aggregations or herds. Pods in a specific region with similar dialects form a "clan". Some males have been known to live well into their 40s and perhaps to 50-60 years old. Females have been known to live to 60-80 years old.

  • CountryTokelau
  • Year2012
  • Face Value5 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)20
  • Diameter (mm)38.61
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)2.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)No
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The coin’s reverse depicts a design of a coloured killer whale leaping from a blues ocean, the background incorporates another killer whale and the inscriptions "TOKELAU Marine Life". The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.