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Shades of Nature - Sungazer Lizard $5 .999 pure silver coin. Partially gilded and coloured, incl. laser minting.
Shades of Nature is up to its fifth release with the sungazer or giant girdled lizard. Named after the iconic dragon Smaug of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the sungazer is native to South Africa.
Mintage: 2,000 pieces worldwide. With COA and wooden box.
1 Item Items
Warning: Last items in stock!
|Country :||Cook Islands|
|Face Value :||5 Dollars|
|Metal :||.999 Fine silver|
|Weight :||25 g|
|Size :||38.61 mm|
|Mintage :||2,000 pcs. worldwide|
|Series :||Shades of Nature|
|Certificate of Authenticity :||Yes|
|Original ETUI box/case :||Yes|
The sungazer (Smaug giganteus, syn. Cordylus giganteus), also known as the giant girdled lizard or giant dragon lizard or giant zonure, is the largest species of the Cordylidae, a family of lizards from Sub-Saharan Africa. This threatened species is endemic to Highveld grasslands in the interior of South Africa. In 2011, it was assigned to the new genus Smaug along with seven other species previously belonging to the genus Cordylus, based on a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the Cordylidae.
The sungazer is a heavily armoured species, with a typical snout–to-vent length of 15–18 cm (5.9–7.1 in) (exceptionally up to 20.5 cm or 8.1 in), and is easily distinguishable from other cordylids by the elongated pair of occipital spines and the enlarged keeled caudal spines.
The decline in sungazer numbers is a result of habitat destruction, and illegal collecting for the pet and traditional medicine trade. Entire colonies can disappear when a patch of native grassland is converted to farmland or otherwise "developed".
Sungazers are very difficult to breed in captivity, and successes have only been reported by a handful of places worldwide. At least some reports are likely not true captive breeding, but rather pregnant females being caught in the wild and subsequently giving birth in captivity. Wild caught sungazers are therefore imported from South Africa to the USA, Europe and Japan, where they command a very high price. Most of these animals are smuggled out of the country and are not accompanied by the CITES permits required in legal exports/imports of the species. In its native South Africa, it is illegal to possess a sungazer (dead or alive) without a permit. Cordylus tropidosternum and Cordylus jonesii are occasionally marketed as “dwarf sungazers.”
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