3 euro - Mosasaurus – the Largest Marine Dinosaur
Series: Austria - Supersaurs
The largest and most impressive animals to have ever lived are celebrated in Supersaurs. The series brings prehistoric giants back to life in the shape of 12 superb glow-in-the-dark coins, each one dedicated to a prehistoric behemoth that ruled the waves, roamed the land or dominated the skies. The second coin features Mosasaurus, the largest marine reptile, which hunted in the seas of the late Cretaceous period before dying out some 66 million years ago. Descended from land-dwelling monitor lizards, though equipped with flippers, Mosasaurus was a carnivorous sea-dwelling reptile found in Western Europe and North America, and possibly in Japan and New Zealand. Mosasaurus means ‘Meuse lizard’, as the first specimen was found near the River Meuse in the Netherlands. The giant reptile comprised almost 40 different genera with numerous species, the largest known, M. hoffmanni, reaching lengths of up to 17 metres. Experts believe that Mosasaurus lived near the surface of the water, where it preyed on fish, turtles, birds, pterosaurs and plesiosaurs. Despite its ability to do so, it is believed that Mosasaurus did not dive into deeper waters. Mosasaurus features all 12 of the extreme prehistoric animals in the Supersaurs series in silhouette on its obverse, while a colour-printed Mosasaurus is shown hunting in a seascape on the coin’s glow-in-the-dark reverse. The 3 euro Supersaurs coins are legal tender in Austria.