The Rockhopper Penguin 50p Coin
2 CommentsThursday, 6 April 2017 | Gareth
The Falkland Islands refer to themselves as the penguin capital of the world as more than 1 million penguins nest on the Islands, for that reason in 2017 Pobjoy Mint will mint a set of four beautiful Indigenous penguins in colour on 50 pence pieces. We are likewise producing a collector's pack to join the set which places the coins around a bait ball!
Rockhopper Penguins are impressive creatures reaching about half a metre high and weighing no more than 2.7 kg. These small penguins take their name from the rocky shore-lines where they nest in tall grasses called Tussocks. The Rockhopper in appearance looks just like other penguins but are quickly distinguishable by the black and yellow spiky plume upon their heads. When you look closer you can see a few other distinctions including red eyes and pink webbed feet.
Indigenous to the Falklands these penguins survive on a diet plan of krill and small crustaceans and in some cases go searching for days at a time. They can dive to depths of 100 metres to catch their prey and remain down for a number of minutes without taking a breath. When Rockhoppers return to coast they often have to navigate their way up a cliff face; they either climb or ride a wave and attempt to land at the top. This can be extremely dangerous for the penguin as sharp rocks and pounding waves can incapacitate as well as kill!
In spite of the Rockhopper being one of the world's most abundant penguins, given that the early 20th century the variety of Rockhopper has decreased by 90% and they are now considered 'Vulnerable' This is most probably due to human activity such as overfishing and contamination damaging their food supply.
The reverse bears an adult Rockhopper, a quirky penguin with a signature hairdo making this coin appealing to animal lovers and numismatics alike. The Rockhopper is portrayed with its wings raised, poised in a position the penguin takes prior to it hops. The obverse includes a brand-new & exclusive effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II.