From today's featured article

A male impala in the Serengeti

The impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized antelope in eastern and southern Africa. First described by German zoologist Hinrich Lichtenstein in 1812, it reaches 70–92 centimetres (28–36 inches) at the shoulder, weighs 40–76 kilograms (88–168 pounds), and has a glossy, reddish brown coat. The male's slender, lyre-shaped horns can reach 45–92 centimetres (18–36 in), measured along the curve. Active mainly during the day, the impala may be gregarious or territorial. Three distinct social groups can be observed – the territorial males, bachelor herds and female herds. Browsers as well as grazers, impala feed on monocots, dicots, forbs, fruits and acacia pods. An annual, three-week-long rut takes place toward the end of the wet season, typically in May, and gestation lasts six to seven months. Calves are suckled for four to six months. The impala is found close to water, in woodlands and sometimes at the interface between woodlands and savannahs. The common impala is widespread across its range and has been reintroduced in Gabon and southern Africa, but the black-faced subspecies has been classified as a vulnerable species. ( Full article...)

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Bernardo Putairi
Bernardo Putairi

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The Plasco Building
The Plasco Building

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January 20: Martyrs' Day in Azerbaijan (1990)

Soviet Pole of Inaccessibility station, Antarctica
Soviet Pole of Inaccessibility station, Antarctica
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Forty-two Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) in Hertfordshire have been reported to Natural England. Hertfordshire is a county in eastern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Essex to the east, Buckinghamshire to the west and Greater London to the south. The county town is Hertford. LNRs are designated by local authorities under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The local authority must have a legal control over the site, by owning or leasing it or having an agreement with the owner. LNRs are sites which have a special local interest either biologically or geologically, and local authorities have a duty to care for them. The largest site in Hertfordshire is Therfield Heath with 147.3 hectares (364 acres). It has some of the richest chalk grassland in England, and it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The smallest is Oxleys Wood in Hatfield, which has an area of only 1.2 hectares (3.0 acres). This wood often floods, and it provides a habitat for a wide range of insects and birds. ( Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee (1807–1870) was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. When Virginia seceded from the Union in April 1861, Lee followed his home state. After a year as senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis, Lee took command of the main field army in 1862 and soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander. After the war, Lee supported President Andrew Johnson's program of Reconstruction and intersectional friendship.

Photograph: Levin Corbin Handy; restoration: Adam Cuerden