Costa Rica is located between two seas and two continents and is vibrant with wildlife. In fact, for a small country, it’s nothing short of amazing how many wild animals are present. Costa Rica is similar in size to the state of West Virginia, and boasts no fewer than five hundred thousand different species, which accounts for an astonishing 4% of all the wildlife on the entire planet!
If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, you’ll want to take a look at the wildlife. Here are are some of the most exotic species.
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
This pretty little frog takes its name from its color – it’s a brilliant strawberry red. This type of frog is found throughout Costa Rica, but be careful if you come across one in the wild – these little guys are poisonous!
Oddly enough, though, if domesticated, the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog loses its toxicity, since it only gets harmful compounds from things found in the jungle. If you domesticate these little cuties, you can feed them fruit flies and store-bought pet food, and you’ll have quite a pleasing little pet.
The American Crocodile is found in southern areas from Florida down to Costa Rica. Usually, they measure 13-16 feet, and they often tend to hang out under bridges. Tourists sometimes feed them, which is not the best idea, because these animals don’t understand the difference between the person offering the food, and the person who might be food.
White-Headed Capuchin Monkey
Monkeys are such clever creatures. They know how to make tools and gather food, and they also seem to know how to use plants for medicinal purposes. If you think monkeys are fascinating, you’ll find no shortage in Costa Rica’s National Parks.
Mexican Tree Frogs
Tree frogs represent an incredible one-third of all the Costa Rican frogs. You can also find them in the southern parts of the US. Nobody knows how many Mexican tree frogs there might be, but suffice it to say that they’re not an endangered species.
Golden Orb Weavers
What a beautiful name! If you’re afraid of spiders, though, you might not like this creature. It spins strong, golden webs that are tough enough even to capture small birds. These spiders live in warm parts of the world and are among the oldest species of spiders.
The ocelot is a nocturnal cat, typically about twice the size of a house cat. An ocelot usually weighs about 30 pounds.
These lazy animals usually sleep anywhere from 16-18 hours per day. They live in the canopy of the jungle and rarely venture lower unless they need to go potty. They’re territorial, and will usually choose a particular tree to occupy.
The King Vulture is a scavenger, closely related to Condors. These birds are big, usually having a wingspan of over 6 feet. They serve a valuable purpose, cleaning up road kill.
These birds are fruit-eaters, although they’ll also chow down on small snakes and insects. They have a very distinctive “yippy” voice and are well represented in the forested lowlands of Costa Rica.
The coati is similar to a raccoon and is found all the way from the southern part of Arizona to the northern part of Argentina, and in Cost Rica as well. These animals have sharp teeth and strong jaws, so keep your distance.
These are just a few examples of the wildlife of Costa Rica. Within the scope of this brief article, it would be impossible to name all of the animals you can encounter on your Costa Rica visit. Suffice it to say that one of the best things about your visit to Costa Rica is the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife in its natural habitat.