Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Costa Rican Critters

While Costa Rica clearly has plenty of familiar animals, cats and dogs, raccoons, cattle, familiar birds like egrets and pelicans, we also saw quite a few that we'd seen only before in zoos, or in other tropical environments like Jamaica or southern Mexico.

Man with traditional oxcart, historically used to transport coffee.

Iguanas are common. They're vegetarian, and clearly accustomed to humans.

I think this is a caiman.  We saw warning near streams and rivers to stay out of the water because of these reptiles.  They are smaller than alligators or crocodiles.

One river tour we took went looking particularly for crocodiles.  This 80 year old croc is seventeen feet long and weighs an estimated 1, 700 pounds.

We saw several sloths lounging in trees.  This might be a two toed or a three toed sloth, a couldn't see to count. 

For me the most fun was seeing monkeys.  There were white faced monkeys, like this one, black howlers, and tiny squirrel monkeys like those in the picture below this line.  We saw them often, even near one of the resorts where we stayed.  There they made a racket early in the morning, before it heated up, and threw coconuts on the tile roof of the building.

I have a small, inexpensive camera, and we often were walking in a group, so I missed shots of many beautiful creatures - iridescent butterflies, warblers with brilliant flashes of red, brightly colored hummingbirds, green parrots, and toucans with bills like hatchets.  It was a riot of movement, sound and color, and tonic to eyes weary of winter.

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