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Springbok

The springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in the dry areas of southern and southwestern Africa. A slender, long-legged bovid, it reaches 71 to 86 cm (28 to 34 in) at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg (60 and 93 lb). Both sexes have a pair of long black horns that curve backwards, a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat with a reddish-brown stripe, and a white rump flap. Primarily browsing at dawn and dusk, it can live without drinking water for years, subsisting on succulent vegetation. Breeding peaks in the rainy season, when food is more abundant. A single calf is weaned at nearly six months of age and leaves its mother a few months later. Springbok herds in the Kalahari Desert and the semi-arid Karoo used to migrate in large numbers across the countryside. This antelope species is one of the few with an expanding population. The springbok is the national animal of South Africa. (Full article...)

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1793 French 24-livre coin

The livre (French for 'pound') was the currency of the Kingdom of France and its predecessor state of West Francia from 781 to 1794. Several different livres existed, some concurrently. The livre referred to both units of account and coins. The last banknotes and coins of the livre were issued in Year II of the revolutionary French First Republic (1794). In 1795, the franc was introduced, and the first one-franc coin was struck in 1803. The word livre survived; until the middle of the 19th century it was indifferently used alongside the word franc, especially to express large amounts and transactions linked with property (such as real estate, property incomes, or cattle). This 24-livre coin was minted in Lille in 1793, under the First Republic, and is now part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. The obverse features a depiction of a winged genius by the French sculptor Augustin Dupré.

Coin design credit: Paris Mint and Augustin Dupré; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

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