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50p coins to commemorate UK’s contribution to dinosaur discoveries

The illustrations are scientifically accurate representations of the prehistoric beasts.

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Dinosauria Collection coin showing an Iguanodon (The Royal Mint)

Dinosauria Collection coin showing an Iguanodon (The Royal Mint)

Dinosauria Collection coin showing an Iguanodon (The Royal Mint)

A range of commemorative 50p coins will be emblazoned with dinosaurs to mark Britain’s contribution to discovering the prehistoric creatures.

The coins will feature three different dinosaurs, the fossils of which led British anatomist Sir Richard Owen to coin the term “Dinosauria” in a paper in 1842, the Royal Mint and Natural History Museum said.

The renowned Victorian scientist applied the name, meaning “fearfully great lizards”, after realising the fossils of Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus shared common characteristics.

Dinosaurs on 50p coin
A commemorative 50 pence coin from Dinosauria Collection showing a Megalosaurus (The Royal Mint)

Clare Matterson, executive director of engagement at the Natural History Museum said: “The story of the discovery of dinosaurs is fascinating and particularly relevant for the Natural History Museum since Sir Richard Owen, who coined the term dinosaur, was also our founder.

“The Dinosauria collection brings this story to life for modern day dinosaur enthusiasts everywhere.”

The illustrations by paleoartist Robert Nicholls are scientifically accurate representations of the prehistoric beasts.

The Megalosaurus coin can be bought from Thursday, the Iguanodon from March 16 and the Hylaeosaurus from April 6.

The coins will range from £10 to up to £945 for limited-run, gold-proof editions.

To view the full Dinosauria Collection, visit www.royalmint.com/dinosaurs.

PA