Bestowed with an intense array of biodiversity and environmental attractions, Costa Rica is sandwiched between two continents and two seas. This country is like a biogeographical bridge bursting with natural wonders and life. It is more than a vacation destination and it offers some of the finest and most varied wildlife viewing on the world. More than 500,000 different species (about 4% of all the plant, insect and wildlife species on the earth) live in Costa Rica. This country is one of the best places in the world to observe animals in their natural habitat. The south Pacific region of Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) is one of the most intense zones for watching the wild animals and plants. Here goes top 10 weird and exotic animals of Costa Rica:
The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a species of crocodilian found in southern Florida and all the way down to Ecuador is well populated in Costa Rica. Though these species of crocodile is usually found in 10 to 13 ft length, in Costa Rica, they measure about 13 to 16 ft. long. About 1500 of this species of crocodiles live in Mexico, Central and South America. The species is currently threatened and their existence is loss of habitat. This species of crocodile has a more V-shaped snout and the adults have a uniform grayish-green coloration with white or yellow undersides. Though these crocodiles are large in size, they usually do not attack large animals.
The Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan is the largest toucan in Central America. This large, brightly marked bird is a prominent member of its habitat. This toucan usually eats fruit but sometime also get insects and small snakes when the opportunity presents itself. This large bird lives in the canopy of lowland and highland wet forests. In Costa Rica if you visit the wet forest lowlands of the Caribbean and on the Pacific side along the Cordillera de Talamanca up to Carara, you will find the opportunities to spot this toucan species. Aside from the male’s larger size, the two sexes look alike. These birds have a white rump, red color on the underside of its tail feather. Its large and curved bill has brown and yellow color. Group of 20 birds travel together and forage in the canopy and semi open areas or clearings with remaining tall trees.
With its long snout and faintly ringed tail, this mammal is distinct. Its tail is as long as its rest of the body and often carried erect. Its body color is pale to dar brown or reddish or yellowish and its tail has banded yellow and brown color and in its shoulders there is a white snout tip. These animals have strong jaws, sharp teeth and can swipe quickly with their paws. Coati’s eyes are ringed with a reddish or brown mask. This mammal is also known as the ‘Snookum Bear’. Coati can be found as far north as Southern Arizona and stretch down into the Northern Argentina. This mammal can survive in any wooded habitat at elevations of up to 3,000 m. They live in a range of forests, from temperate oak and pine forests to deciduous and lowland tropical rain forests. It also can be seen in deserts.
Golden Orb Weavers:
An amazing spider, the golden orb weaver spins gold silk to attract bees and to blend in with the foliage. Webs, created by the Golden Orb Weavers, are extremely strong and have even been know to catch small birds. This spider is also the oldest surviving spider species, found dates back to 165 million years ago with a fossilized specimen. This Golden Orb Weavers is existing in most warm parts of the world. These creepy looking spiders are not aggressive toward humans but quite venomous.
King vulture are strong scavengers and the last remaining member of its genus. This species has a very colorful look that distinguishes them from their vulture relatives. These species have while color with black tails and wing tips. They often have straw-colored eyes and on their head and necks they have multi-color such as orange, yellow and red. These birds are 27 to 32 inches in length and its wing span can be up to 6 feet 6 inches wide. These species of vulture usually spread out from Southern Mexico all the way to Northern Argentina.
Mexican Tree Frog:
Mexican Tree Frog is unique because of the sound it creates. This frog species account for about one third of the frogs found in Costa Rica. These frogs are usually found in areas of the southwestern U.S. and down to the country.There is no particular data with the information of actual population count but these species of frogs are not in a danger of becoming extinct.
Ocelots are nocturnal cats, also known as a dwarf leopard. These are about twice the size of a normal house cat. This incredibly adorable looking wild kitty is prevalent in most areas of South and Central America. These cats are 38 to 60 inches in length but weigh 20 to 35 pounds. Once these species of cats were listed as vulnerable due to hunting but now they are not considered as a threatened species. For their light weight and massive feet, these cats are excellent tree climbers.
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog:
The strawberry poison dart frog can change from red boiled with blue legs to green with black spots to navy blue. This unique creature is different for many reasons but in particular is its ability to morph. These frogs are found all throughout the Central America and Puerto Rico and these are only toxic in the wild. These frogs can create its poisonous defenses from natural elements found in the jungle.
Known for being incredibly slow, three-toed sloths has long coarse hair over dense underfur, a white face with a brown stripe on each side. Its body is pale brown to yellowish color and has a brown throat. Adult male sloths have unique pattern of yellow hair on their back with a black stripe through the center. It is named ‘three-toed’ because it has three toes on each of its front and hind feet. Live high in the jungle canopy, this unique creature sleep 16 to 18 hours each day and coming down only once a week or so to go to the bathroom. They move along the trees very slowly and stay close to their home range of about 12 acres.
White Headed Capuchin Monkey:
Native to the forests of Central America and the north-western part of South America, White Headed Capuchin Monkey is quite clever animal. These monkeys are known to use tools as weapons and as a means of getting food. These monkeys are usually seen hanging out in groups of up to 40 monkeys. In average these monkeys can live to be over 54 years old. The average life span of a White faced monkey is 44 years. These monkey’s diet consists of mix fruits and insects, however, from time to time small birds, small mammals and seeds also.