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2 Dollars 1996, Antarctic

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 01.03.1996
Edition:
Signatures: Unknown signature
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 01.03.1996
Material: Paper
Size (mm): 183 х 93
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Montreal

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2 Dollars 1996

Description

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2 Dollars 1996

The emperor penguins at Atka Bay.

The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 122 cm. (48 in.) in height and weighing from 22 to 45 kg. (49 to 99 lb.). The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.

Its diet consists primarily of fish, but can also include crustaceans, such as krill, and cephalopods, such as squid. In hunting, the species can remain submerged up to 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 m. (1,755 ft.). It has several adaptations to facilitate this, including an unusually structured haemoglobin to allow it to function at low oxygen levels, solid bones to reduce barotrauma, and the ability to reduce its metabolism and shut down non-essential organ functions.

The only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, emperor penguins trek 50-120 km. (31-75 mi.) over the ice to breeding colonies which may include thousands of individuals. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed; parents subsequently take turns foraging at sea and caring for their chick in the colony. The lifespan is typically 20 years in the wild, although observations suggest that some individuals may live to 50 years of age.

Atka Iceport, also known as Atka Bay, is an iceport about 10 miles (16 km.) long and wide, marking a more-or-less permanent indentation in the front of the Ekstrom Ice Shelf on the coast of Queen Maud Land.

Atka Bay is the site of Germany's Neumayer-Station III.

Atka Iceport was mapped in detail by Norwegian cartographers from surveys and air photographs taken by the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-1952), led by John Schjelderup Giæver. It was named by personnel of the USS Atka, under U.S. Navy Commander Glen Jacobsen, which moored here in February 1955 while investigating possible base sites for International Geophysical Year operations.

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2 Dollars 1996

The Adélie Penguins on Paulet island. In lower left corner is Adelie Penguin with small one.

The Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast, which is their only residence. They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds, along with the emperor penguin, the south polar skua, the Wilson's storm petrel, the snow petrel, and the Antarctic petrel. They are named after Adélie Land, in turn named for the wife of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, who discovered these penguins in 1840.

It is one of three species in the genus Pygoscelis. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguins around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus Aptenodytes. In turn, the Adélie penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago.

The Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast, which is their only residence. They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds, as are the Emperor Penguin, the South Polar Skua, the Wilson's Storm Petrel, the Snow Petrel, and the Antarctic Petrel. Adélie penguins living in the Ross Sea region in Antarctica migrate an average of about 13,000 kilometers (8,100 mi.) during the year as they follow the sun from their breeding colonies to winter foraging grounds and back again.

Paulet Island is a circular island about 1.5 km. (0.93 mi.) in diameter, lying 4.5 km. (2.8 mi.) south-east of Dundee Island, off the north-eastern end of the Antarctic Peninsula. Because of its large penguin colony, it is a popular destination for sightseeing tours.

The island is composed of lava flows capped by a cinder cone with a small summit crater. Geothermal heat keeps parts of the island ice-free, and the youthful morphology of the volcano suggests that it was last active within the last 1,000 years.

Paulet Island was discovered by a British expedition (1839-1843) under James Clark Ross and named by him for Captain the Right Honorable Lord George Paulet, Royal Navy. In 1903 during the Swedish Antarctic Expedition led by Otto Nordenskiöld his ship Antarctic was crushed and sunk by the ice off the coast of the island. A stone hut built in February 1903 by shipwreck survivors, together with the grave of an expedition member, and the cairn built on the highest point of the island to draw the attention of rescuers, have been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 41), following a proposal by Argentina and the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a very large breeding colony of about 100,000 pairs of Adélie penguins. Other birds known to nest on the island include imperial shags, snow petrels and kelp gulls.

Comments:

Photo on obverse by Colin Monteath.

Photo on reverse by Stefan Lundgren.

Informal currency Antarctic continent.

Created by a group of enthusiasts, U.S. citizens, founded in 1996 Antarctic Overseas Bank, despite the fact that according to international agreements, Antarctica is not the territory of any state, and therefore not entitled to its own currency.

Denomination banknotes issued by the Antarctic Overseas Bank from 1996 to present - 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. According to the organizers shares, each such banknote can be exchanged for U.S. dollars at par and send all proceeds to finance scientific research in Antarctica itself.