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2005 Canada 50-Cent Butterfly - Monarch Sterling Silver (#3)

2005 Canada 50-Cent Butterfly - Monarch Sterling Silver (#3)
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Their bright and colourful wing patterns are a marvel. And every summer, people around the world are witness to a fluttering art show as these natural works of art take flight. Antarctica is the only continent without butterflies. Of the 24,000 species in the world, Canada is home to 297 of them, including the captivating Monarch (Danaus plexippus), arguably the most recognized butterfly in North America.

Its bright orange wings with thick, dark veins and black borders spotted in white produce a bold design one isn't likely to forget. Such visibility should make the Monarch an easy target for predators, but that is hardly the case. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweeds and in doing so, accumulate the plant's emetic poisons that birds abhor - a defensive measure so effective that the edible Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) has evolved to mimic the Monarch's appearance.

Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but the Monarch's greatest accomplishment by far is its migration. It boasts the longest range of any insect in the world! Every year, millions of Monarchs flutter their way from southern Canada to central Mexico 4,000 km (2,489 mi) away to escape winter's cold - yet another strategy that preserves the beautiful Monarch for us to enjoy.

Year: 2005
Mintage: 20,000
Composition: 92.5% sterling silver, 7.5% copper
Face value: 50 cents
Weight (g): 9.30
Diameter (mm): 27.13
Edge: Serrated
Finish: Proof
Artist: Susan Taylor Series: Coin #3

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