Costa Rica Getaway - Rainforest History

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The Costa Rican rainforest is home to more than half a million species. It hides invisible mysteries of life, only a part of which has been discovered by humans. Most of the creatures that the creators captured during their journey show exceptional abilities: basilisks that can run on the surface of the water, frogs that transform into leaves, sloths that live almost upside down and Atta leaf-cutter ants, whose production of antibiotics would be the envy of any giant pharmacist. Equally worthy of attention are the feathered inhabitants of the jungle, such as toucans and tanagers, and macaws, which Project Ara is working incredibly hard to rescue and use to repopulate their territory. Costa Ricans are well aware of their extraordinary natural wealth, and protect their treasure with an exceptional range of national parks and protected areas. However, the jungle can be dangerous. It is a test for anyone who wishes to explore it: the jungle will test your determination, your courage and your ability to observe, listen and blend. The reward is unexpected self-knowledge.


Long ago, this was just a rocky wasteland ruled by demons

One day, the god Cebo defeated them, fertilizing the land with the help of a vampire bat and the blood of a young jaguar

This is where the first tree of the rainforest took root

Nestled between the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, a verdant paradise was born, Costa Rica

We set out to explore this country

If we respect the laws of the jungle, there's a good chance we'll experience some extraordinary encounters

The amazing diversity of flora and fauna here is among the richest on the planet

Costa Rica is unique in its conservation practices

It has rainforest lowlands and mountain cloud forests, dry tropical forests, as well as mangroves along the coast

Its national parks and protected areas comprise more than a quarter of its area, and Costa Rica is the only country in the world to reverse the devastating trend of intensive deforestation

The rainforest and the treasures concealed within are the primary goals of our journey

Basilisk's Basque in the warm midday sun

Who would guess that there are excellent swimmers and divers? They can remain underwater for an incredible 30 minutes, and because they can run at speeds of up to 10 kilometers per hour, they can skim over the surface of the water, giving them their nickname, Jesus Lizards

This green iguana couldn't possibly make it more clear that we're unwanted visitors

The iguana is popular among gourmets throughout Latin America for its delicious white meat and eggs

Iguanas almost disappeared entirely from Costa Rica

Fortunately, thanks to control breeding by the Bri-Bri natives, their numbers are once again flourishing

This Central American white-throated magpie jay warns us that a group of cheeky cotus is lingering by a popular beach close to our camp

These carnivores and the proscenid family take advantage of their cuteness and often fearlessly search for food close to people

Their extremely flexible noses can bend up to 60 degrees, enabling them to scratch any itch but also ferret out food hidden underground, like this poor crab

The cotus didn't leave anything for the magpie jay this time

Black vultures, renowned scavengers, patiently wait to see if these wood storks drop anything tasty for them

The American crocodile makes its home in the many rivers that flow through the jungle

This species, along with the saltwater crocodile, is unique in that it can live permanently in salt water and often swims out to remote islands

There have been instances where crocs have been pitted against white sharks in their nests

Although it is one of the largest crocodiles, it is not an aggressive species

Here's the head that this hat rested on

Was it black or was it blonde? Who's could it have been? It's not common to see Linnaeus' two-toed sloths and pale-throated three-toed sloths in the same area

Not only do they differ in the number of toes on their front feet, they also have different numbers of vertebrae in their neck

Most mammals, including humans, have seven bones in their neck

The two-toed sloth has only six, and the three-toed sloth has nine, which enables it to turn its head 200 degrees

On the ground, the sloth is awkward and vulnerable

Thanks to its poor, predominantly leaf-based diet, digestion takes a while, and it doesn't need to leave the safety of its tree more than once every eight days to relieve itself

As it lives mainly upside down, its fur grows upside down as well, from its belly towards its shoulders so that the rain can't get in

If it doesn't move, it's nearly invisible and has a greater chance of survival

This northern Tamandua is in search of a few ants for lunch, but it looks like some of his lunch has climbed into his fur

For 50 million years, Atta leafcutter ants have brought pieces of leaves, flowers, and twigs into their homes in order to create soil for growing their food, a fungus related to the button mushroom

Young ant queens bring the fungal spores in a special opening under their jaws as kind of a dowry from their home nest

The entire ant hill then carefully cares for the fungus

Workers lick leaf pieces to remove bacteria and mold spores, and then chew them into miniature pieces

Others add digestive enzymes, inoculate the materials with spores, and plant it in the prepared soil

The tiny gardeners weed out everything that doesn't belong

They grow bacteria in pouches in their thorax that create antibiotics to relieve the fungal culture

Not only were they the first farmers in the world, but they're also successful pharmacists

Unlike those created by humans, these ant antibiotics don't lose their effectiveness

Every morning, one can hear strange singing in the rainforest

You can hear it from kilometers away

The choir strengthens as more voices join in

Howler monkeys, the largest primate in the Costa Rican rainforest, make sure everyone knows who's boss here

For this performance, however, they need regular, deep sleep

They lack energy, as the young tree leaves that the mantled howlers almost exclusively subsist on are hard to digest and don't give them much strength

They are the only primate in the new world that can see colors, which helps them distinguish the young leaves from the old ones

They are the only primate in the new world that can see colors, which helps them distinguish the young leaves from the old ones

They are the only primate in the new world that can see colors, which helps them distinguish the young leaves from the old ones

It pays to be vigilant

If the howlers become angry, they can urinate or defecate on humans from above

They may be high up, but they are amazingly accurate

Arenal is one of the most impressive volcanoes on the planet

This unpredictable element serves as a reminder that in a country of some 50,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of the state of Michigan, there are five active volcanoes and dozens more that are dormant or extinct

Just like other volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, they emerged when one tectonic plate slid under the other

The Costa Rican jungle is a paradise for tropical butterflies, such as the Malachite or this tiger heliconian

Tropical butterfly farms export cocoons all over the world

By fluttering its iridescent blue wings, the blue morpho attracts females

Ironically, with this same action, it also deters predators

This is one from the Not every species is beautiful because of its color

The glass winged butterfly is transparent and invisible when it flies

It's also poisonous

It accumulates this weapon in its body as a caterpillar

Day after day, the jungle tests our resolve to learn more about its inhabitants and reveal its most beautiful places

When planning any trip, it's easy to forget that above all, you have to carry yourself around, and that can be a bit tough sometimes, especially when you have a few kilos to spare

It's important to trust our guides and know that we always have something in reserve

It's important to know that we always have something in reserve, and that can be a bit tough sometimes, especially when you have a few kilos to spare

If we were to get lost, we wouldn't die of hunger

Termites may be sour, but they're an excellent source of protein and vitamins

If we listen carefully, we can hear the jungle speaking to us, and sometimes quite loudly

In Costa Rica, you'll find more species of birds than anywhere else on the planet

Toucans can't fly very well

They prefer hopping through the trees

Like other toucan species, the chestnut mandible toucan usually lives in pairs or small groups

One of the most beautiful members of the toucan family is, without a doubt, the collared arasari

It primarily eats fruit, but it will also snack on bird's eggs and even baby birds

In the lush vegetation on the bank of the river, we came across a pair of tanagers busily building a nest

And before we finished admiring the grace of these white ibis, the tiny tanager is on its way

Tanagers are very good at being seen and heard, and why they often end up in the hands of smugglers

Cross-breeding creates many different color variations

The Catalina macaws cross between the blue and yellow macaw and the scarlet macaw

They display their affection with their performances and feather play

But not just for anyone, macaws mate for life

This is the first time I've ever seen a macaw cross between the blue and the scarlet macaw

A special rescue project in Costa Rica may change the otherwise unfortunate fate of green macaws, of which there are only about a thousand of in all of Latin America

The ARA project was founded as a rescue for abandoned house pets

Their offspring are gradually repopulating the surrounding jungle under the supervision of volunteers

Even the most experienced ornithologists often reach for their bird guides here

Relatives of the blue-gray tanager alone number 200 species

For example, this green honeycreeper is also a member of the tanager family

It's unusual to find the groove-billed annie in the rainforest

It lives in pastures and feeds on insects that it finds in caudong

When in the vicinity of human settlements, it even gathers fruit from orchards

Another's most beautiful bird feeder, the heliconia, has attracted a female green honeycreeper with its nectar

The same goes for the eternally hungry hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world

A Called the flying jewels of the tropical jungle, nature endowed hummingbirds not only with supernatural physical abilities, but also beautiful coloring that changes when light shines on them

Thanks to the rate at which they flap their wings, their heart, which is the size of a pea, has to beat an unbelievable 1,000 to 1,200 times per minute

Even if you don't have a particular goal in mind and just want to head out for a walk in the jungle, there's always something to see

That's what's so beautiful about it

The jungle itself sets the scenes and directs the actors, those it wants to present

Sometimes, the greatest dangers can't be heard

The tropical rainforest conceals it in its branches, on the ground, and near streams

One of the most venomous snakes on the planet makes its home here

Its name is derived from the scales over its eyes that resemble eyelashes

The eyelash viper's venom sacs contain a potent hemotoxin that there's no chance of surviving The eyelash viper is one of several species of palm vipers that lives in trees

It loves to wait motionless in the forest flowers for hapless hummingbirds to come and sip the sweet nectar

Up close, they're beautiful and graceful

Their respect and a healthy distance is advisable

If they feel threatened, they can attack in the blink of an eye

The eyelash viper can be one of several different colors, from yellow, or perhaps grayish green, or even an intense orange

It was a perfect example of how unexpected, fast, and dangerous its defenses can be

Keeping our distance definitely paid off

We almost missed his relative, the sidestripe palm pit viper in the leaves

The Mexican vine snake is a member of the colobrid family and is mildly venomous

However, its venom will only cause temporary numbness

And this is how the boa constrictor, a favorite of vivirists around the world, lives in its natural habitat

Thanks for watching

Rain, a gift from the local gods, is the life-giving energy of the rainforest

Any water determines where jungle or desert will be

Everywhere, it is the catalyst between existence or extinction for all living creatures

Even when the sun is far away from the ?, man is still here, with the Oh White-headed cappuccinos are the most intelligent of the New World monkeys

They've even learned to use simple tools

When a snake attacks, they rush to defend themselves with sticks and stones

These cappuccinos are omnivores and enjoy pretty much anything they find in the jungle

But before they eat anything, they carefully sniff and examine it

This time, the red-eyed three-toed frog was lucky

We found a mass of red-eyed three-toed frog eggs

Tadpoles will hatch out in about six days

If by chance a snake discovers them, however, they are capable of escaping from their eggs as much as two days before their due date

And here are the proud parrots

Their brilliant color, which is typical for poisonous species, helps protect them from predators

But the red-eyed three-toed tree frog isn't actually poisonous

To completely hide itself, it simply tucks in its legs, closes its eyes, and turns into a leaf

The green and black poison dart frog exudes a poison over its entire body

Indigenous peoples use this poison to coat the tips of their arrowheads

A jungle frog shields himself from the tropical sun in a natural pond in the middle of a bromeliad

This is the masked tree frog, the largest tree frog in Costa Rica

One of the smallest species, the strawberry poison dart frog, has a variety of colorations

This particular one is called the blue jeans frog for the unique coloration of its legs

The female of this two centimeter long species doesn't take long to choose a partner

No matter how much a male tries to attract her attention, she always ends up picking the closest one

At night, the jungle is filled with sounds

All around us, the songs of its inhabitants gain strength

And we can only guess from which direction they're coming

It's a strange feeling

Nocturnal encounters are much more intense

This red-eyed three-toed tree frog has made its presence known with its typical call, yet it tries to remain invisible

One just can't help but investigating

We take advantage of every minute of our last night here

During the past couple of weeks, we've come to realize that if we slow down, we discover more life, more sense, and more beauty

All of which we were completely clueless of until now

The animals come and go

They are as free as the jungle itself

Nocturnal encounters

bios What are we? What are we?

Thank you

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