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Common Spotted Cuscus & Bird of Paradise 10 Toea Papua New Guinea Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

Common Spotted Cuscus & Bird of Paradise 10 Toea Papua New Guinea Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

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Common Spotted Cuscus & Bird of Paradise 10 Toea Papua New Guinea Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

Reverse: Common Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus).
Lettering: 10t

Obverse: Coat of Arms of Papua New Guinea (a bird-of-paradise over a traditional spear and a Kundu drum).

Issuer Papua New Guinea
Queen Elizabeth II (1975-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 1975-2001
Value 10 Toea
0.1 PGK = 0.028 USD
Currency Kina (1975-date)
Composition Copper-nickel
Weight 5.67 g
Diameter 23.72 mm
Thickness 1.98 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Number N# 3359
References KM# 4

The common spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus), also known as the white cuscus, is a cuscus, a marsupial that lives in the Cape York region of Australia, New Guinea, and nearby smaller islands.

The common spotted cuscus is about the size of a common house cat, weighing 1.5 to 6 kilograms (3.3 to 13.2 lb), body size about 35 to 65 centimetres (14 to 26 in) long, and a tail 32 to 60 centimetres (13 to 24 in) long. It has a round head, small hidden ears, thick fur, and a prehensile tail to aid in climbing. Its eyes range in colour from yellows and oranges to reds, and are slit much like a snake's. All four of its limbs have five digits and strong, curved claws, except the first digit on each foot. The second and third digits of the hind foot are partly syndactylous: they are united by skin at the top joint, but divide at the claws. These smaller claws can serve as hair combs when cleaning. The first and second digits of the fore foot are opposable to the other three, helping it grip branches while climbing. The undersides of its paws are bare and striated, which also help it grasp trees and food. The first digit on the hind foot is clawless and opposable.

It has thick, woolly fur of varying colours depending on age, sex, and location. Males are typically grey/white or brown/white with splotchy patterns on their back and a white underbelly. Only males have spots. Females are usually white or grey and unspotted. Some completely white individuals are known in both males and females. As the young grow, they go through a series of color changes before reaching sexual maturity around one year old. Colouration varies from reds and whites to buffs, browns, light greys, and blacks. Unlike some other species of cuscuses or possums, the common spotted cuscus does not have a dorsal stripe on its fur.

The curled, prehensile tail is a distinctive characteristic of the common spotted cuscus. The upper part of the tail closest to the body is covered in fur, while the lower half is covered in rough scales on the inside surface to grip branches.

The common spotted cuscus is hunted for its meat and pelt in New Guinea, but has very little economical influence. Despite hunting, it is still common in New Guinea and most islands, but it is rarely spotted in Australia, mostly because it is a very shy creature. It was introduced by humans to Selayar, Mussau, and New Ireland, and has since flourished in these areas. The conservation status of the common spotted cuscus is least concern because of its wide population distribution, ability to flourish in a variety of environments, and lack of dominating predators. However, continued human expansion, an increase in demand for cuscus meat and pelts, and destruction of its natural habitat could lead to a demise in the spotted cuscus predominance.


The birds-of-paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes. The majority of species are found in Papua New Guinea and eastern Australia. The family has 42 species in 15 genera. The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of the species (the majority) which are sexually dimorphic, in particular the very long elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings, tail or head. For the most part they are confined to dense rainforest habitat. The diet of all species is dominated by fruit and to a lesser extent arthropods. The birds-of-paradise have a variety of breeding systems, ranging from monogamy to lek-type polygamy.

.....Societies of New Guinea often use bird-of-paradise plumes in their dress and rituals, and the plumes were popular in Europe in past centuries as adornment for ladies' millinery. Hunting for plumes and habitat destruction have reduced some species to endangered status; habitat destruction due to deforestation is now the predominant threat.

Best known are the members of the genus Paradisaea, including the type species, the greater bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea apoda. This species was described from specimens brought back to Europe from trading expeditions in the early sixteenth century. These specimens had been prepared by native traders by removing their wings and feet so that they could be used as decorations. This was not known to the explorers, and in the absence of information many beliefs arose about them. They were briefly thought to be the mythical phoenix. The often footless and wingless condition of the skins led to the belief that the birds never landed but were kept permanently aloft by their plumes. The first Europeans to encounter their skins were the voyagers in Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth. Antonio Pigafetta wrote that "The people told us that those birds came from the terrestrial paradise, and they call them bolon diuata, that is to say, 'birds of God"." This is the origin of both the name "bird of paradise" and the specific name apoda – without feet. An alternate account by Maximilianus Transylvanus used the term Mamuco Diata, a variant of Manucodiata, which was used as a synonym for birds-of-paradise up to the 19th century.

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