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500 Ariary 1993 (2500 Francs), Madagascar

in Krause book Number: 72а
Years of issue: 1993
Edition: --
Signatures: Le Gouverneur: Gaston Edouard Ravelojaona
Serie: 1993 Issue
Specimen of: 1993
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 147 х 79
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

500 Ariary 1993 (2500 Francs)

Description

Watermark:

500 Ariary 1993Head of Zebu.

A zebu, Bos primigenius indicus, Bos indicus or Bos taurus indicus, sometimes known as humped cattle or Brahman, is a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia. They are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap. Zebu are well adapted to withstanding high temperatures, and are farmed throughout the tropical countries, both as pure zebu and as hybrids with taurine cattle, the other main type of domestic cattle. They are used as draught oxen, as dairy cattle and as beef cattle, as well as for byproducts such as hides and dung for fuel and manure.

Avers:

500 Ariary 1993 (2500 Francs)

The woman is centered.

500 Ariary 1993In lower right corner are The poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima).

It is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.

In areas outside its natural environment, it is commonly grown as an indoor plant where it prefers good morning sun, then shade in the hotter part of the day. Contrary to popular belief, flowering poinsettia can be kept outside, even during winter, as long as it is kept frost-free. It is widely grown and very popular in subtropical climates such as Australia, Rwanda and Malta.

Denominations, in Ariary and Francs, are at bottom.

Revers:

500 Ariary 1993 (2500 Francs)

500 Ariary 1993On banknote is Gray Heron sub-species - Ardea cinerea firasa, from Madagascar.

The Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) - is a long-legged predatory wading bird of the heron family, Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but some populations from the more northern parts migrate southwards in autumn. A bird of wetland areas, it can be seen around lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes and on the sea coast. It feeds mostly on aquatic creatures which it catches after standing stationary beside or in the water or stalking its prey through the shallows.

Standing up to a meter tall, adults weigh from 1 to 2 kg. (2.2 to 4.4 lb.). They have a white head and neck with a broad black stripe that extends from the eye to the black crest. The body and wings are grey above and the underparts are greyish-white, with some black on the flanks. The long, sharply pointed beak is pinkish-yellow and the legs are brown.

The birds breed colonially in spring in "heronries", usually building their nests high in trees. A clutch of usually three to five bluish-green eggs is laid. Both birds incubate the eggs for a period of about 25 days, and then both feed the chicks, which fledge when seven or eight weeks old. Many juveniles do not survive their first winter, but if they do, they can expect to live for about five years.

In Ancient Egypt, the deity Bennu was depicted as a heron in New Kingdom artwork. In Ancient Rome, the heron was a bird of divination. Roast heron was once a specially-prized dish; when George Neville became Archbishop of York in 1465, four hundred herons were served to the guests.

500 Ariary 1993The radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) - is a species in the family Testudinidae. Although this species is native to and most abundant in southern Madagascar, it can also be found in the rest of this island, and has been introduced to the islands of Réunion and Mauritius. It is a very long-lived species, with recorded lifespans of at least 188 years. These tortoises are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, mainly because of the destruction of their habitat and because of poaching.

Growing to a carapace length of up to 16 in. (41 cm.) and weighing up to 35 lb. (16 kg.), the radiated tortoise is considered to be one of the world's most beautiful tortoises.

This tortoise has the basic "tortoise" body shape, which consists of the high-domed carapace, a blunt head, and elephantine feet. The legs, feet, and head are yellow except for a variably sized black patch on top of the head.

The carapace of the radiated tortoise is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the center of each dark plate of the shell, hence its name. This "star" pattern is more finely detailed and intricate than the normal pattern of other star-patterned tortoise species, such as G. elegans of India. The radiated tortoise is also larger than G. elegans, and the scutes of the carapace are smooth, and not raised up into a bumpy, pyramidal shape as is commonly seen in the latter species. There is slight sexual dimorphism. Compared to females, male radiated tortoises usually have longer tails and the notches beneath their tails are more noticeable.

The species is very long-lived. The oldest radiated tortoise ever recorded with certainty was Tu'i Malila, which died at an estimated age of 188. A tortoise named Adwaita is widely believed to have been even older at its death in 2006.

500 Ariary 1993Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi), or the white sifaka, is a medium-sized primate in one of the lemur families, the Indriidae. It lives in Madagascar and can be found in a variety of habitats from rainforest to western Madagascar dry deciduous forests and dry and spiny forests. Its fur is thick and silky and generally white with brown on the sides, top of the head, and on the arms. Like all sifakas, it has a long tail that it uses as a balance when leaping from tree to tree. However, its body is so highly adapted to an arboreal existence, on the ground its only means of locomotion is hopping. The species lives in small troops which forage for food.

Four subspecies of this lemur are described. Many things are unknown about Verreaux's sifaka, so their lifespan in the wild has not been approximated, but in captivity, they generally live to up to 18 years old.

500 Ariary 1993Presumably, Papilio demodocus, also known as the citrus swallowtail, is a large swallowtail butterfly common to sub-Saharan Africa. It is a pest species, the caterpillar feeding on citrus trees.

500 Ariary 1993Behind Grey Huron is Cassava (Manihot esculenta).

It is a woody shrub native to South America of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Though it is often called yuca in Spanish and in the United States, it differs from the yucca, an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub in the family Asparagaceae. Cassava, when dried to a powdery (or pearly) extract, is called tapioca; its fermented, flaky version is named garri.

Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize. Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people. It is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporter of dried cassava.

Cassava is classified as either sweet or bitter. Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava contain antinutritional factors and toxins, with the bitter varieties containing much larger amounts. It must be properly prepared before consumption, as improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication, goiters, and even ataxia, partial paralysis, or death.The more toxic varieties of cassava are a fall-back resource (a "food security crop") in times of famine or food insecurity in some places. Farmers often prefer the bitter varieties because they deter pests, animals, and thieves.

500 Ariary 1993This is a rare Aerangis species (Orchid), from Madagascar, which has small dark green leaves with a silver warty pattern. The roots of this species are also warty and silver white. The flowers are very large for the plant and are white with a salmon tint to the extremities. (www.orchidweb.com)

500 Ariary 1993Near Grey Huron's head is the traveller's tree (Ravenala madagascariensis).

Ravenala is a genus of flowering plants with a single species, Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as traveller's tree or traveller's palm, from Madagascar - the National tree of the country.

It is not a true palm (family Arecaceae) but a member of a monocotyledonous flowering plant family, Strelitziaceae. The genus is closely related to the southern African genus Strelitzia and the South American genus Phenakospermum. Some older classifications include these genera in the banana family (Musaceae). Although it is usually considered to be a single species, four different forms have been distinguished.

It has been given the name "traveller's palm" because the sheaths of the stems hold rainwater, which supposedly could be used as an emergency drinking supply for needy travellers. However, the water inside the plant is murky, black and smelly and should not be consumed without purification. Another plausible reason for its name is that the fan tends to grow on an east-west line, providing a crude compass.

The scientific name Ravenala comes from Malagasy ravinala meaning "forest leaves".

500 Ariary 1993Lower the travellers tree and behind the orchid is Cyperus papyrus.

Cyperus papyrus (papyrus sedge, paper reed, Indian matting plant, Nile grass) is a species of aquatic flowering plant belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a tender herbaceous perennial, native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water.

Papyrus sedge (and its close relatives) has a very long history of use by humans, notably by the Ancient Egyptians. It is the source of papyrus paper, one of the first types of paper ever made. Parts of the plant can be eaten, and the highly buoyant stems can be made into boats. It is now often cultivated as an ornamental plant.

In nature, it grows in full sun, in flooded swamps, and on lake margins throughout Africa, Madagascar, and the Mediterranean countries.

Denomination, in Ariary, is at the bottom.

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