Francois-finalDr. Francois Therrien.

What do Alberta’s rich dinosaur history, a Canadian coin and the curator of dinosaur paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Dr. Francois Therrien all have in common? Answer: They all played a part role in the release of a brand new Canadian Mint quarter.

The special edition coin features one of the biggest animals to ever take flight, Quetzalcoatlus. This pterosaur is from the Late Cretaceous period, boasted a 10-meter wingspan and we can find their fossils right here in Alberta (most notably in Dinosaur Provincial Park).

“My involvement was as a scientific consultant to advise the Royal Canadian Mint as to which animals they should pick, advise the paleo artist doing the reconstruction to ensure that the illustration is anatomically correct, that it's accurate and up to date,” said Therrien. The humble Therrien also proofread and helped write the text on the description of the animal.

This quarter has a neat special feature, in normal light the prehistoric beast appears in flesh. When the lights are out, a glowing skeleton will appear.

Two more dinosaur coins will follow in the series called Prehistoric Creatures. The coin will sell for $29.95 and be available at most Canada Post outlets.

Sound like a worth-while purchase? Get on it quick! The last  Prehistoric Creatures coin featuring the Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai sold out in less than two weeks. Only 30,000 of the Quetzalcoatlus coin will be minted and made available for purchase. Check out the cool design here.

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