Released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the new design is in honor of the National Park of American Samoa.
There's a new U.S. quarter in town and it might just be your new favorite. Bringing in a battier new year, the U.S. Mint recently revealed the design of a new quarter which features two Samoan fruit bat on the reverse (tail) side of the coin. Released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the new design is in honor of the National Park of American Samoa. Launched in 2010, the America the Beautiful Quarters Program aims to recognize "national parks and other national sites." The new 25-cent pieces will be released on February 3.
According to the U.S. Mint, one side of the quarter features "a Samoan fruit bat mother hanging in a tree with her pup. The image evokes the remarkable care and energy that this species puts into their offspring. The design is intended to promote awareness of the species’ threatened status due to habitat loss and commercial hunting. The National Park of American Samoa is the only park in the United States that is home to the Samoan fruit bat."
The National Park of American Samoa is located about 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii and includes sections of three islands—Tutuila, Ta’ū, and Ofu. One of the most remote sites in the U.S. National Park System, almost all of the land area of the volcanic islands covered by the National Park of American Samoa is a tropical rainforest. "The park’s area totals 13,500 acres, 4,000 of which are underwater," the U.S. Mint states.
US coin to feature American Samoa fruit bat https://t.co/4qM10yMqEJ— RNZ Pacific (@RNZPacific) August 19, 2019
Contrary to the small cave-dwellers that usually come to mind when thinking of bats, fruit bats are active both during the day and night and can have a wingspan of up to three feet, reports PEOPLE. The National Park of America Samoa is home to three species of fruit bats of which two are large and one is smaller and eats insects. In addition to the mother and cub fruit bats featured on the new 25-cent pieces, the quarter will also be inscribed with the words "National Park American Samoa 2020" and the tradition motto of the United States, "E pluribus unum," which is Latin for "out of many, one" and appears on all U.S. coins.
The design depicts a Samoan fruit bat mother hanging in a tree with her pup. It evokes the remarkable care and energy that this species puts into their offspring. The design promotes awareness to the species’ threatened status. https://t.co/FZr4GxX4vV #AtBFinal6 @NPamericansamoa pic.twitter.com/pAru63HR02— United States Mint (@usmint) August 13, 2019
Four other new quarter designs due for release this year include the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont, and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas. These are expected to be released in April, June, August, and November respectively.