Welcome good people! I’m Sir Edmure Pennington, and I’ve just had the most smashing time in Costa Rica! Alongside Mary Rosalina Vanderbilt and Abuelita, I learned so much about the plants and animals. It’s truly marvelous! If you want to see some really cracking videos about the biodiversity of Costa Rica, click the links below! It’s time to get serious about saving the planet – I know I’d be quite bummed if I had to live in some sort of metal box or a cage in the ocean. To be honest, I’m not sure where I’d go if we had to ditch our beautiful planet. Maybe Fiji? I love their water. Come along, and learn about nature!
Sir Edmure Pennington
Plant and Animal Descriptions
The term “leafcutter” actually describes nearly 50 species of ants who use leaves for energy. As seen in Edmure’s video, these ants build highways that can span for hundreds of meters. They form extremely complex colonies, home to millions of ants in mature colonies, in which each member has a specific role in the society’s caste (ranging from worker to queen). The colonies form massive mud structures… Edmure was even able to walk over one!
Blue Morpho Butterfly
Strikingly blue and fluttering around the tropical rainforest, the blue morpho butterfly is a Costa Rican classic. Unlike other butterflies, the blue morpho is not a pollinator; instead of nectar, it feeds on rotten fruit. This insect has developed an erratic flying pattern as a means to escape predators, and thus does not need to contain any poison as a deterrent.
White-nosed coati, or coatimundi, are a mammalian species closely-related to raccoons. They are very common in parts of Costa Rica, including Monteverde. These omnivorous animals are well-adapted to human life and have been observed displaying high-levels of intelligence. They travel in families, in which the parents do most of the hunting and foraging, providing for their playful young.
These relatively large rodents are found in primary and secondary rainforest around Costa Rica, generally below elevations of 2,000 meters. Agouti are clever, burying caches of food near their abodes to dig up when fruit becomes difficult to find. They build small nests for their young, which their larger predators cannot enter; unfortunately, this means the mothers cannot either, and must call their young out to feed them.
Green-Crowned Brilliant Hummingbird
This common hummingbird ranges from Central America all the way up the western United States. The green-crowned brilliant is endemic to mountain ranges, especially forests found at higher elevations, though they have adapted to live amongst humans and more urban areas as well. Like most hummingbirds, these extract nectar with their needle-thin beak, preferring bright flowers such as those found on heliconias and cephalis.
Out of seven species found throughout Latin America, the motmot of the Monteverde forest is the largest and most colorful. These birds can be identified by their long, blue-green tails and heavy bills. Many native Costa Rican plants rely on the motmot to disperse their seeds with their extremely fast digestion process. A motmot is certainly a beautiful animal that should be respectfully sought out, despite Abuelita’s strict warnings.
Named for the way they position themselves among the trees, spider monkeys are native to Costa Rica and can be found along inland waterways. Their prehensile tails serve as a fifth arm and can grow to be up to 89 cm long. Recently, spider monkey populations have been limited by hunting, although they’re not nearly as “treacherous” as Abuelita might claim.
The strangler fig tree has developed a fascinating adaptation – in order to avoid the scrambling competition for light from the forest floor, it will germinate on a mature tree, sending a long vine straight to the ground. From here, the fig wraps around the tree, eventually growing around it and killing it. The trees fruits attract monkeys, birds, and insects, and its many nooks provide a home for numerous snake species.