Cocos (Keeling) Islands
 
 

 
The Territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka. It is roughly 500 miles (800 km.) southwest of Jakarta, Indonesia. The territory consists of two atolls and 27 coral islands, of which two, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited with a total population of approximately 600 (around 80% are Sunni Muslims). No Political Parties Exist; Administered by Australian Department of Regional Australia and Local Government of Arts and Sport. Defense is the Responsibility of Australia. Capital: West Island. Currency: Australian Dollar.
 
                      1609  Islands discovered by English Capt. William Keeling
                      1814  British merchant seaman Capt. John Clunies-Ross stopped
                             briefly at the islands on a trip to India nailing up a
                             Union Jack and planning to return.
                      1825  Temporary settlement (several weeks) on Direction Island,
                             by shipwrecked Captain Le Cour.
               06 Dec 1825  Brief visit by U.K. Capt. John Clunies-Ross.
                  May 1826  Settlement established on main island by Alexander Hare. 
               27 Feb 1827  Settlement established on South Island by John Clunies-Ross. 
                      1831  Hare leaves; Clunies-Ross takes possession of all islands;
                             Cocos Islands constituted as a feudal "fiefdom" of the
                             Clunies-Ross family.
               01 Apr 1836  HMS Beagle under Captain Robert FitzRoy arrived to take
                             soundings establishing the profile of the atoll. 
               31 Mar 1857  Formally annexed for Britain (crown colony) by Capt. Fremantle
                             on H.M.S. Juno.
 22 Nov 1878 - 01 Feb 1886  Administered by Ceylon.
               07 Jul 1886  Granted in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family by
                             Queen Victoria.
 01 Feb 1886 - 01 Apr 1903  Administered by Straits Settlements (under Singapore).
 01 Apr 1903 - 1942         Administered by Straits Settlements (as a dependency of
                             Singapore).
               09 Nov 1914  German warship Emden landed a raiding party on Direction
                             Island to destroy cable and wireless equipment. HMAS Sydney
                             severely damaged the Emden in a battle and the Emden was
                             beached on Keeling Island, the raiding party escaped.
        1942 - 1946         Administered by Ceylon (West Island and Direction Island
                             under allied military administration).
 08 May 1942 - 09 May 1942  15 members of the garrison, from the Ceylon Defence Force,
                             mutinied under the leadership of Gratien Fernando, inspired
                             by anti-imperialist beliefs. The Cocos Islands Mutiny was
                             crushed.
               25 Dec 1942  Japanese submarine I-166 bombarded the islands but caused no
                             damage.
        1946 - 23 Nov 1955  Dependency of Singapore.
               23 Nov 1955  Australian territory (Territory of Cocos [Keeling] Islands.
               01 Sep 1978  Australia purchases all of the land on Home Island, with the
                             exception of Oceania House and grounds, from John Cecil
                             Clunies-Ross for $6,250,000.
                            John Cecil Clunies-Ross relinquishes his authority.
               25 Jul 1979  Autonomy granted.
               06 Apr 1984  Islands integrated with Australia in an Act of Self
                             Determination by the Cocos community.
               01 Jul 1992  Cocos became subject to Western Australian law.
               01 Jul 1996  Part of Australian Indian Ocean Territories
                             (Christmas Island and Cocos Islands).
 

 
  • In 1609, Captain William Keeling was the first European to see the islands, while serving in the East India Company, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. In 1814, a Scottish merchant seaman named Captain John Clunies-Ross stopped briefly at the islands on a trip to India, nailing up a Union Jack and planning to return and settle on the islands with his family in the future.
  • Rulers
  • Le Cour........................................................1825
  • Temporary settlement (several weeks) on Direction Island by shipwrecked Captain Le Cour.
  • Alexander Hare (on main island).....................May 1826 - 1831 d. 1834
  • However, a wealthy Englishman named Alexander Hare had similar plans, and hired a captain, coincidentally, Clunies-Ross' brother to bring him and a harem of forty Malay women to the islands, where he hoped to set up his own private residence. Hare had previously served as governor of a colony in Borneo and found that "he could not confine himself to the tame life that prosy civilisation affords". When Clunies-Ross returned two years later with his wife, children and mother-in-law, and found Hare already established on the island and living with a private harem, a feud grew instantly between the two men. Clunies-Ross' eight sailors, "began at once the invasion of the new kingdom to take possession of it, women and all". After some time, Hare's women began deserting him, and instead finding themselves mates amongst Clunies-Ross' sailors. Disheartened, Hare left the island; he died in Bencoolen on 02 November 1834.
  • Kings (from 1857, governors)
  • John Clunies-Ross................................27 Feb 1827 - 26 May 1854
  • Ruled to 1831 on South Island only. John Clunies-Ross established himself as King of the Cocos Islands in 1827. Clunies-Ross' workers were paid in a currency called the Cocos rupee, a currency John Clunies-Ross minted himself that could only be redeemed at the company store. On 1 April 1836, HMS Beagle under Captain Robert FitzRoy arrived to take soundings establishing the profile of the atoll as part of the survey expedition of the Beagle. To the young naturalist Charles Darwin, who was on the ship, the results supported a theory he had developed of how atolls formed, which he later published as The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. He studied the natural history of the islands and collected specimens. Darwin's assistant Syms Covington noted that "an Englishman [he was in fact Scottish] and HIS family, with about sixty or seventy mulattos from the Cape of Good Hope, live on one of the islands. Captain Ross, the governor, is now absent at the Cape". John Clunies Ross had seven children, - four sons, two of whom predeceased him, and three daughters, who all married and left Cocos.
  • John George Clunies-Ross................................1854 - 1872
  • John George was the eldest son and had married a Balinese girl. He was 31 when he took over control of the Cocos. John George imported more Javanese labourers, instituted a more efficient method of collecting coconuts, and set up a steam powered oil mill. Although his education had been limited, he showed an aptitude for medicine and the islanders credited him with some extraordinary cures. They called him "Tuan Pandai" (learned master). The islands were annexed by the British Empire in 1857. This annexation was carried out by Captain Stephen Grenville Fremantle in command of HMS Juno. Fremantle claimed the islands for the British Empire and appointed Ross II as Superintendent. In 1867, their administration was placed under the Straits Settlements, which included Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Queen Victoria granted the islands in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family in 1886. The Cocos Islands under the Clunies-Ross family have been cited as an example of a 19th-century micronation. In 1857, John George Clunies-Ross had to accept British control over the archipelago, but retained rights of ownership in perpetuity, and was accepted as governor. In 1886 the Clunies-Ross family again declared the islands a kingdom; with George as the King, this title was not recognized by Britain or Australia.
  • George Clunies-Ross.....................................1872 - 07 Jul 1910
  • George was 29 when his father died. In physical appearance he could have passed for a taller than average Malay. He did not assume authority immediately upon his father's death, but called all the residents of the islands together and asked them to select their new leader. They chose him and gave him the name "Tuan Tinggi" - the tall master. George married a local girl in 1868. Making use of his engineering training, George introduced new methods for harvesting, importing European tools and machinery. But trouble continued with the imported labourers, one of whom made an attempt to kill George. George abandoned the practice of employing convicts and brought in free men from Java. In 1886, Britain transferred control of the Cocos from Ceylon to Singapore at the same time granting all of the Cocos Islands "to have and to hold unto George Clunies-Ross and his heirs for ever".
    George turned his attention to Christmas Island, Cocos' nearest neighbour, some 860 kilometres to the east. A visiting geologist, John Murray, had discovered phosphate on the island, a mineral resource in huge demand as fertilizer. In 1891 the British Colonial Office conferred joint tenancy of Christmas Island on George Clunies-Ross and John Murray. In 1888 George laid the foundations of a substantial mansion on Home Island. Two shiploads of white enamel faced bricks were imported from Glasgow - and the internal walls were panelled in teak. The building was named "Oceania House". In 1901 a submarine telegraph cable connected Cocos with Britain and Australia. In 1909 another cyclone hit the islands destroying ninety per cent of the coconut plantation. A year later a visiting British official noted "the conditions of life and the contentment of the inhabitants show that the rule of an autocrat in such a community cannot be improved upon when the autocrat himself has so thoroughly the interests and welfare of his people at heart as Mr Ross has." In poor health, George Clunies-Ross took his family to England where he died in 1910.
  • John Sydney Clunies-Ross.........................07 Jul 1910 - 14 Aug 1944
  • John Sidney was 41 when he became Tuan in 1910. He was unmarried but had three children from his relationship with a local girl. Genetically, he was three quarters Malay, taller than his father, and regarded himself as "head of the clan". Britain declared war on Germany in 1914 and later that year the German warship the Emden was destroyed by HMAS Sydney off North Keeling Island. The war tightened the Clunies-Ross financial position and John Sidney's main source of income was dividends from the Christmas Island Phosphate Company.
    After the war copra prices soared and John Sidney built new houses for all his labourers. He travelled to England in wintertime and sought out the colder climate of Scotland and the Shetland Islands. In 1925 at the age of 56 he married Rose Nash, a 22 year old cashier at his favourite London restaurant. In 1928 she returned to London to give birth to John Cecil, the son and heir John Sidney had been hoping for. In 1936, on one of his visits to Britain, a tabloid newspaper headlined a story about John Sidney, "Rules 1500 with a little stick". He was quoted as saying, "when my stick is ineffective a whip is sufficient to restore order". The remark caught the attention of Anti-Slavery society and in 1937 a British official was sent to Cocos to report on conditions. "From all that I saw and heard," he wrote, "I am quite convinced that the Islanders form a happy and peaceful community, quite contented with their lot. Any suggestion of cruelty or exploitation strikes me as ridiculous."
    During the Second World War the cable station on Cocos was bombed by Japanese aircraft. John Sidney's family had moved to Britain and his children were educated in English schools. In 1944 Home Island was bombed by the Japanese and shortly afterwards, John Sidney died in his sleep. In 1945 over 6000 military personnel and their equipment arrived on the islands to build an airstrip. Control of the islands was put into the hands of a military administrator.
  • Military Administrators
  • John Allen Harvey...................................Sep 1944 - 1946
  • John Edward Bendelow Jessamine......................Apr 1946 - 1946
  • Administrator
  • David Alford Somerville.............................Apr 1946 - 1947
  • Governor
  • John Cecil Clunies-Ross.................................1947 - 01 Sep 1978
  • John Cecil was 17 when he returned to Cocos in 1946. His mother was determined that he should re-take control of the Islands and he set about learning the business from the bottom up. He worked with gangs clearing undergrowth in the plantation, and learned sailing and fishing from the locals. In 1948 the colonial government in Singapore suggested that John Clunies-Ross undertake a course in colonial administration with a view to becoming the official governor of the Cocos. It was while at Oxford in 1951 that Clunies-Ross met and married Daphne Parkinson. Unknown to Clunies-Ross the British and Australian governments had agreed that the administration of the islands be transferred from Singapore to Australia. The copra plantation could not support the 1200 workers who now lived on Cocos and the Singapore administration arranged a program of emigration. 800 workers left the island, leaving a workforce of 350. John Clunies-Ross made copra manufacturing more efficient and was able to treble the wages paid to his workers. In April 1954, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited at the Cocos Islands. Queen Elizabeth was honoured at a garden party at Home Island. In 1955 administration of the Cocos passed from Singapore to Australia and in 1957 Paul Hasluck, the Minister for Territories, visited the islands. Hasluck wrote, "Mr Clunies-Ross does not regard himself as an Australian, or a person in any way subject to the Australian government." So began a long war of attrition between Clunies-Ross and subsequent Australian governments determined to reform what they regarded as conditions of feudal serfdom on Cocos. In 1967 Clunies-Ross asked the Australian government to grant Cocos full independence, but the Department of External Affairs believed that Australian sanction of the "paternal autocratic rule of Clunies-Ross" might attract criticism from the United Nations. In the 1970s, the Australian government's dissatisfaction with the Clunies-Ross feudal style of rule of the island increased. Then in 1971 an Australian government official who visited Cocos reported, "I could not help but liken the situation to what I imagine life would be like for slaves on the estate of a benevolent slave owner in southern America". In 1972 the Whitlam government came to office and in 1973 Australia invited the UN to send a Visiting Mission to Cocos. The UN Mission reported, "one man is allowed to determine the life of the whole community". It urged that Australia purchase the land on which the Islanders were housed and reinforce the powers of the Official Representative as the sole authority. The UN gave three options for the political future of the Cocos - independence, free association, or integration with Australia. In 1978 the Fraser government negotiated the sale of all of the land on Home Island, with the exception of Oceania House and its grounds, and paid Clunies-Ross $6,250,000. By agreement, the family retained ownership of Oceania House, their home on the island. A new Council was formed and became responsible for the administration of the islands. In 1980 the Council requested the Australian government "to do whatever is necessary to remove John Clunies-Ross permanently from the Cocos Islands". In 1983 the Hawke government came to power and appointed Tom Uren Minister for Territories. Uren wrote to Clunies-Ross saying the government intended to acquire Oceania House so that he would leave and remain away from the Cocos Islands. Clunies-Ross appealed the decision to the High Court, and won. In 1984 the Malay population of the Cocos voted overwhelmingly for integration with Australia. In the same year, Uren gave instructions that Government agencies were not to ship any cargo with the shipping company owned by Clunies-Ross, the company he had invested in with the proceeds of the sale of his land. Without regular income the shipping company became insolvent and in 1986 Clunies-Ross was declared bankrupt. He was forced to sell Oceania House and left the Cocos Islands. John Clunies-Ross now lives in Perth, Western Australia. However, some members of the Clunies-Ross family still live on the Cocos Islands. John George, born in 1957, is the elder son of the five children of John and Daphne Clunies-Ross. John George was born on Cocos and educated in Britain. He now lives on West Island with his wife Catherine and his two sons John Douglas, and Aiden James.
  • Australia.......................................23 Nov 1955 - date
  • Official Representatives
  • H.J. Hull..............................................1955 - 13 Dec 1957
  • C.H. Cox (acting)...............................14 Dec 1957 - 13 Mar 1958
  • John William Stokes.............................08 Nov 1958 - 27 Jul 1960
  • Charles Ivens Buffett (acting to 24 Feb 1964)...28 Jul 1960 - 17 Apr 1966
  • P.L. Ryan.......................................18 Apr 1966 - 19 Jun 1966
  • P.C. Burbrook...................................20 Jun 1966 - 25 Jun 1969
  • C.W. Suthern....................................26 Jun 1969 - 28 Jul 1972
  • C. McManus......................................29 Jul 1972 - 16 Jul 1975
  • Administrators
  • Robert James Linford............................23 Jul 1975 - 15 Nov 1977
  • Charles Ivens Buffett...........................16 Nov 1977 - 31 Dec 1981
  • Eric Herbert Hanfield...........................21 Apr 1982 - 22 Nov 1983
  • K. Chan.........................................14 Dec 1983 - 19 Nov 1985
  • Carolyn Stuart (female).........................20 Nov 1985 - Dec 1987
  • W.N. Syrette (acting)..............................Jan 1988 - 30 Jun 1988
  • M. Jopling (acting).............................01 Jul 1988 - 07 Nov 1988
  • A. Dawn Lawrie (female).........................08 Nov 1988 - 27 Nov 1990
  • Barry T. Cunningham.............................01 Dec 1990 - 04 Dec 1992
  • John Bell Read..................................05 Dec 1992 - 04 Dec 1994
  • Danny Ambrose Gillespie (acting)................04 Dec 1994 - 31 Jan 1995
  • Martin Mowbray..................................01 Feb 1995 - 30 Jan 1996
  • Jarl Andersson (acting).........................01 Feb 1996 - 12 Apr 1997
  • Maureen Ellis (female - acting).................12 Apr 1997 - 30 Sep 1997
  • Ron G. Harvey (acting)..........................01 Oct 1997 - 30 Oct 1998
  • Administrators of Christmas Island & Cocos Islands
  • Graham Nicholls (acting)........................01 Nov 1998 - 03 Feb 1999
  • William "Bill" Leonard Taylor...................04 Feb 1999 - 30 Jul 2003
  • Ray Stone (acting)..............................30 Jul 2003 - 01 Nov 2003
  • Evan John Williams..............................01 Nov 2003 - 31 Oct 2005
  • Neil Lucas......................................30 Jan 2006 - 22 Feb 2008
  • Julian Yates (acting)...........................22 Feb 2008 - 28 Feb 2008
  • Sheryl Klaffer (female - acting)................28 Feb 2008 - 2009
  • Stephen Clay (acting)..................................2009 - 05 Oct 2009
  • Brian James Lacy................................05 Oct 2009 - 29 Sep 2012
  • Jon Stanhope....................................05 Oct 2012 - 06 Oct 2014
  • Barry Haase.....................................06 Oct 2014 - date
  • Chairmen of the Cocos Islands Council
  • Parson bin Yapat (1st time)............................1979 - 1981
  • Wahin bin Bynie........................................1981 - 1983
  • Parson bin Yapat (2nd time)............................1983 - 1993
  • Presidents of the Shire Council
  • Ronald "Ron" Grant (1st time)..........................1993 - 1995
  • Radal bin Feyrel.......................................1995 - 1999
  • Mohammed Said Chongkin (1st time)......................1999 - 2001
  • Ronald "Ron" Grant (2nd time)..........................2001 - 2007
  • Mohammed Said Chongkin (2nd time)..................Oct 2007 - 2009
  • Shane Charlston........................................2009 - Oct 2009
  • Balmut Pirus.......................................Oct 2009 - 29 Jun 2011
  • Aindil Minkom...................................29 Jun 2011 - date
 
Currency: Rupee = 100 cents [1887-1978]
In 1913, Plastic Ivory coins (1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents + 1, 2 and 5 Rupees) were made with all issued with individual serial numbers. In 1968 cent denomination coins (1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents) in produced in Aqua-color plastic and Rupee coins (1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 Rupees) in Red-color plastic.
The status of the 1887 tokens is unclear, but they could have been circulating on the islands. The 1913 tokens were used on the islands, as they were demonetized when Australian money was introduced in 1956. However, they were valid only in Clunies-Ross' store. In fact, their main purpose was not to add to the coins in circulation, but to force Clunies-Ross' workers to spend their wages in the shop. Several members of the Clunies-Ross family have been repeatedly accused of abuse of the Malay population (these people have bad mojo) and these tokens, part of a trucking system forbidden long ago elsewhere, are prime evidence. Their status may be described as "plantation tokens". The only use the 1968 series saw on the islands was in the Clunies-Ross household, where they were used for "internal accounting". They are probably optimistically described as counters. Later series are fantasies. There is of course nothing "official" about them, since no Clunies-Ross is holding any office.
 
1968
 

KM#Tn13 1 Rupee. Year: 1968. Weight: 1.07g [1.10g]. Metal: Red-color plastic. Diameter: 25.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "KEELING-COCOS Is" written on the right side. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Value "1R" in the center surrounded within circular decorative border with 35 pointed objects. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: Plain edge of the above coin.
 
1977
 
In 1977, Clunies-Ross V introduced the first metal currency to the Cocos-Keeling Islands with $100,000 worth of coins minted to his orders in Switzerland. The move was designed to head off a plan by the Australian Government to extend Australian currency to the islands. Individually boxed and numbered sets of the coins were also prepared for collectors.
The new coins featured an effigy of his great-great-grandfather in a wreath on one side with a palm tree on the sea shore on the other. The ten denominations were produced in 4 different metals.
  • 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents in Bronze.
  • 1, 2 and 5 Rupees in Copper-Nickel.
  • 10 Rupees (6.50 grams) and 25 Rupees (16.25 grams) in 0.925 Silver (Mintage: 4,000 Proof and 6,000 Uncirculated each).
  • 150 Rupees in Gold 8.48 grams
    • 1st issue: .750 Gold - 2,000 Proof & 2,000 Uncirculated. (reported as stolen, only 250 pieces recovered).
    • 2nd issue: .925 Gold - 2,000 Proof & 2,000 Uncirculated.

KM#7 5 Rupees. Year: 1977. Weight: 10.93g [11.00g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 29.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Coin. Mint: N/A. Obverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** KEELING-COCOS ISLANDS ****" written around. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Wreath on both upper sides. John Clunies Ross portrait facing left in the center. "JOHN CLUNIES ROSS" written at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Subject: 150th anniversary of John Clunies Ross for becoming the first ruler of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

 
2004
Currency: Dollar = 100 cents
 
The issue was authorised by the Cocos (Keeling) Shire council in 2000 and the council signed a contract with a firm in the United States to produce and distribute the coins. That firm was subsequently acquired by a German firm, which then went through some management upheavals. One of the two principals left the firm as did the person that was originally responsible for negotiating the contract. After sitting on the back burner, the project finally went forward in 2004 and the coins were made. A substantial portion of the mintage was purchased by an Australian firm.

Like previous Keeling-Cocos issues, the coins are technically tokens. They are for use on the islands, and are not considered legal tender issues. This is to avoid problems with the Australian government, which now owns the Islands.

The circulation issues include the 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, $1, $2 and $5 coins. There was also a commemorative silver $10 coin and commemorative $100 gold coin issued to honour Charles Darwin's visit to the Islands in 1836. The silver and gold coins are sold out. The circulation coins are approximately the same diameter as their respective Australian coins.

The circulation issues were struck at the Roger Williams Mint in Massachusetts. The fish side (reverse) were designed by Laurel Rogers. Her initials LR appear in the design. The tree side (obverse) was designed by Joseph Lang. Below are the indicated mintage with each coin. Of these, 5000 of each have been reserved for use in packaged mint sets. There have been authorised 500 Proof sets as well, but perhaps have not yet been released or have not been struck. It would appear not so much as a token but rather a NCNLT (non circulating non legal tender) coins along the lines of the Andorra issues.
 

X#11 5 cents. Year: 2004. Weight: 3.87g [3.85g]. Metal: Nickel-plated brass. Diameter: 19.70 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Sea Horse in the center. "5 CENTS" written on the left side" and "Sea Horse" on the upper right side. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 60,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The 5 cent depicts the Thorny Seahorse, Hippocampus histrix. The Thorny Seahorse is a large but delicate species with long, sharp, highly developed spines. This species has a distinctive long snout which often has several bands around it. Their colour ranges from pastel pink to brown. Pale splotches along the body are common, as are small dark spots. They often live amongst sponges and soft corals and are usually found along the external edges of Western Pacific reefs, between 5 and 30 meters in depth.

X#12 10 cents. Year: 2004. Weight: 5.73g [5.70g]. Metal: Nickel-plated brass. Diameter: 23.90 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Sea Snake in the center. "10 CENTS" written on the left side" and "Yellow-bellied Seasnake" on the upper left side. Date at the bottom right side. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 60,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The 10 cent shows one of the world's most poisonous snakes, the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Pelamus platurus. The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake is found all over the Indian and Pacific oceans from eastern Africa to Australia and across the Pacific all the way to the Americas in subtropical waters. They prefer shallow inshore waters were they feed during the day and spend nights on the ocean bottom, occasionally rising to the surface to breath. They can dive to maximum depths of 15 meters and can stay submerged for up to 3.5 hours. These snakes are poorly suited for land and are relatively helpless when washed ashore. These fairly mild-mannered carnivorous creatures can occur in huge aggregations with varying male to female ratios, and numbering in the thousands.

X#13 20 cents. Year: 2004. Weight: 7.55g [7.55g]. Metal: Nickel-plated brass. Diameter: 28.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Lion Fish in the center. "20 CENTS" written at the bottom and "Lion Fish" on the upper left side. Date at the bottom right side. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 30,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The 20 Cents portrays the Lion Fish, Pterois lunulata. The Lion Fish, also known as the Turkey Fish, or Fire Fish (Pterois), is any of several species of striped Indo-Pacific fish of the scorpion fish family, Scorpaenidae. Lion Fish are noted for their venomous fin spines, which are capable of producing painful, though rarely fatal, puncture wounds. The fishes have enlarged pectoral fins and elongated dorsal fin spines, and each species bears a particular pattern of bold, zebra like stripes. When disturbed, the fish spread and display their fins and, if further pressed, will present and attack with the dorsal spines.

X#14 50 cents. Year: 2004. Weight: 10.78g [10.80g]. Metal: Nickel-plated brass. Diameter: 12 sided; 31.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Fish swimming towards right over coral reef in the center. "50 CENTS" written below it and "Ornate Butterflyfish" on the upper right side. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 25,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The twelve-sided 50 Cents shows the Ornate Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ornatissimus, swimming over a coral reef. The Ornate Butterflyfish is easily recognised by its colour pattern. It usually has six oblique orange stripes on the body, and black and yellow bars on the head. Between the eyes is a greyish triangular mark. The tail has two black bars. This species can grow to 18cm in length. It feeds on coral polyps. The Ornate Butterflyfish is found in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-Pacific.

X#15 1 Dollars. Year: 2004. Weight: 6.94g [6.90g]. Metal: Brass. Diameter: 25.30 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Bird sitting on a branch in the center. "$1" written on the right side. "Black Crowned Night Heron" on the upper left side. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 20,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The dollar shows the Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax Nycticorax. The Black-Crowned Night heron is an aptly named bird. They are inactive by day, spending their time in the rookery, roosting in trees. But as night falls, the Black-Crowned Night Heron emerges and can be heard making its loud, croak-like call. The Black-Crowned Night Heron's scientific name, Nycticorax- "Night Raven" stems from its croaking cry. They often make their nests high in the trees, yet their nests are haphazardly built by piling sticks and twigs on a supporting branch. Because the nests are not secured, it is common to see many eggs, young and whole nests blown out of the trees by a mild storm.

X#16 2 Dollars. Year: 2004. Weight: 3.98g [3.95g]. Metal: Brass. Diameter: 20.10 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Bird flying over the Ocean in the center. "$2" written on the left side. "Wedge-tailed Shearwater" on the upper right side. Date at the bottom. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 20,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The 2 Dollars depicts a Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Puffinus pacificus flying over Open Ocean. The Wedge-tailed Shearwater is found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are Dark brown to brownish-grey above with white under parts and dark wing margins with a wedge-shaped tail and a slender, slate-grey hooked bill. They have a wingspan of 97-104cm and normally live 10-11 years in the wild. Due to the loud groans and wails the birds make, island residents refer to them as the "moaning bird". They feed on the larval forms of goat fish, mackerel, and flying squid. Wedge-tails nest in shallow burrows, one to two meters in length and the female lays a single, large, white egg at the end of burrow during the breeding season.

X#17 5 Dollars. Year: 2004. Weight: 6.80g [6.75g]. Metal: Bi-metallic; Stainless Steel in ring and Brass in center. Diameter: 28.50 mm. Edge: Reeded and Plain; 4 section each. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Roger Williams, Massachusetts. Obverse: Great White Shark flying over the Ocean in the center. "FIVE" written on the top and "Great White Shark" written below it. Date written below the shark and "DOLLARS" at the bottom. Reverse: Palm Tree near the sea shore in the center and "**** COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS ****" written around it. "Bukan Wang Tunai" below the palm tree. "TERRITORY" written at the bottom. Mintage: 23,000. Minted Years: One year type.
The Great White Shark, Charcharadon charcharias is seen on this coin. White sharks are predatory animals that begin life by feeding on fish, rays, and other sharks, and as they grow, switch to feeding on marine mammals and scavenging on large animal carcasses. Their first mammalian prey is usually the small harbour seal, but as the sharks increase in size, they become large enough to eat sea lions, elephant seals, and small toothed whales. Attack strategy consists of a swift, surprise attack from below, inflicting a large, potentially fatal bite. Large white sharks will also scavenge on the carcasses of whale sharks, and on the fat-rich blubber layer of dead whales. They will occasionally feed on sea turtles and sea otters, and are known to attack humans.
 
 
 
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