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KILLER WHALE Australian Antarctic Territory Silver Coin 1$ Australia 2011


The eighth coin from this amazingly popular series features the majestic orca or killer whale. The killer whale 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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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.

  • CountryAustralia
  • Year2011
  • Face Value1 Dollar
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.1 (1 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)40.6
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)7.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
The coin’s reverse depicts a dual design of a mature killer whale and calf in colour under the sea, and a struck design showing an adult leaping from an ocean of floating icebergs. The background incorporates the outline of the Antarctic continent bordered by the inscriptions 2011 – KILLER WHALE and ‘Australian Antarctic Territory’. The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark is also incorporated into the design.
Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.