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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New Canadian quarter features glow-in-the-dark Alberta dinosaur -

New Canadian quarter features glow-in-the-dark Alberta dinosaur - 

The image of a dinosaur whose remains were discovered in Alberta’s Peace Country will be featured on our newest quarter — the first Canadian coin with a glow-in-the dark picture.

The quarter, being released by the Royal Canadian Mint April 16, features Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, a large herbivore whose bone fragments were discovered by Grande Prairie, Alta., science teacher Al Lakusta in 1974.

He plans to pick up one of the new coins for his 10-year-old grandson.

“I think almost anybody who reads about it thinks, ‘We can’t wait to try this,’ ” he said Sunday from his Grande Prairie home.

Photo-luminescent technology that won’t wear off means the regular image of the dinosaur on the quarter will transform into a glowing skeleton in the dark.

An effort is now underway to build a museum in the Pipestone Creek area at Wembley, about 485 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, to showcase the many unique dinosaurs being uncovered in the region.

“To have this one put on a coin is really very timely, because we’re trying to raise some funds for the new museum,” Lakusta said. “Hopefully, this will help.”

Lakusta, after whom the dinosaur is named, was hiking around Pipestone Creek with a friend when he found the rib fragments.

“Finding a dinosaur bone fragment in a creek bed is not that easy,” he said.

“It’s the same colour as the rock, but after you find the first piece, the second one is much easier, because you know what to look for.”

He only heard about the coin recently from a worker at his local postal outlet, who told his wife about it after reading an advance brochure from the mint.

Lakusta was pleased when he heard the dinosaur will be immortalized.

“It’s certainly unexpected,” he said.

The bones he discovered led paleontologists to what has since been determined to be the richest horned
dinosaur bed in the world.

“It’s proven to be very exciting,” Lakusta said. “It’s certainly not something anyone would expect.”

The dinosaur that bears his name was up to eight metres long and weighed as much as four tonnes. Its massive head bore a large frill of bone and small horns.

Three more dinosaur coins will follow, in a series called Prehistoric Creatures.

They will sell for $29.95 each and be available at most Canada Post outlets.


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