Latest Australian Remarkable Reptile immortalised in silver is the beautiful Green Tree Python
Australia’s Remarkable Reptiles returns for the sixth time with another attractive proof silver coin. The series has looked at numerous examples of this continents esoteric reptiles, but the relatively normal Green Tree Python is the latest subject. A beautiful animal, it’s habit of coiling itself around a branch in a distinctive way has endeared it to nature lovers around the world.
The coin is a standard Perth Mint affair. A simple proof one-ounce coin with colour on the reverse face is the mints most popular type, so the quality of the design is everything. Fortunately, this is a good one, although it doesn’t quite replicate the classic pose associated with the snake. These coins have always come in a really nice wooden box and this one is no exception. A serialised certificate of authenticity is included and the mintage remains at 5,000 pieces.
Struck for Downies, the coin is available there or direct from the Perth Mint. Some of our sponsors also sell the coin, so check them out as well. Selling for around $109 AUD / €80, the coin is available to order now.
THE GREEN TREE PYTHON
The Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) is a species of python native to New Guinea, islands in Indonesia, and Cape York Peninsula in Australia. As its name suggests, it is a bright green snake that can reach 2 metres in length and 1.6 kg in weight, with females slightly larger and heavier than males. Living generally in trees, the green tree python mainly hunts and eats small reptiles and mammals. It is a popular pet and numbers in the wild have suffered with large-scale smuggling of wild-caught green tree pythons in Indonesia. Despite this, the green tree python is rated as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered species.
Primarily arboreal, these snakes have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees; they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and place their head in the middle. This trait is shared with the emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus) of South America.
The diet consists mostly of small mammals, such as rodents, and sometimes reptiles, such as geckos and skinks. This snake, like the emerald tree boa, was thought to eat birds; however, Switak conducted field work on this issue. In examining stomach contents of more than 1,000 animals, he did not find any evidence of avian prey. Prey is captured by holding onto a branch using the prehensile tail and striking out from an s-shaped position and constricting the prey. Wild specimens have also been observed and photographed wrapped around the base of small tree trunks, facing down in an ambush position, presumably waiting for ground mammals to prey upon.
Morelia viridis is oviparous, laying 1–25 viable eggs per clutch. Breeding has never been reported from the wild, however in captivity eggs are incubated and protected by the female. Hatchlings are lemon-yellow with broken stripes and spots of purple and brown, or golden or orange-red. For yellow individuals at Iron Range National Park, Australia, the color change occurred over 5–10 days when individuals were 58–60 cm long, which corresponds to about a year old. Colour change for red juveniles has not been observed in the wild.
|DENOMINATION||$1 New Zealand|
|BOX / COA||No / No|
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