Three-toed Sloth

All posts tagged Three-toed Sloth

By Derek Stoner, Seasonal Program Team Leader

A young Two-toed Sloth nestles on its mother as she hangs upside down in a tree at our lunch stop. Photo by trip participant Rod Ellingsworth.

A young Two-toed Sloth nestles on its mother as she hangs upside down in a tree at our lunch stop. Photo by trip participant Rod Ellingsworth.

The Delaware Nature Society led a trip to Costa Rica recently, journeying from coast-to-coast in this verdant Central American country for twelve days in late October and early November of 2015.  The group, led by Derek Stoner and Judy Montgomery, began our adventure in the capital city of San Jose.  Aboard a tour bus with 20 participants, two trip leaders, a tour manager (Jose Saenz of Collette Travel) and our jovial bus driver Juan Carlos, we quickly exited the big city and headed into the wilds.  Here is the first installment in a series of five posts detailing our discoveries…

How often do you get to have lunch with a sloth?  After a delicious meal at Restaurant Ceibo, we turned our attention to the riot of wildlife that surrounded the building.  Right beside our tour bus, four different Two-toed Sloths could be observed in classic sloth-pose:  hanging leisurely upside-down and half-asleep.  A female with a young baby stole the show, as the youngster (showing very pale blonde hair on its head) changed positions on the nursing female.

Blue Jean Frogs, a species of poison dart frog named for its blue legs on a bright red body, clamber around the base of a Kapok (Ceibo) tree. Photo by trip participant Rod Ellingsworth.

Blue Jean Frogs, a type of poison dart frog named for its blue legs on a bright red body, clamber around the base of a Kapok (Ceibo) tree. Photo by trip participant Rod Ellingsworth.

Soon we loaded up in the bus and continued our day’s journey towards to Caribbean coast.  At the end of a dusty, bumpy road we came to the “boat ramp” which consisted of an eroded bank plunging into the crocodile-inhabited waters of the Tortuguero River.  Jumping aboard with our luggage into a 40-foot long, shallow-draft boat, we held onto the sides of the vessel as we rocketed down the narrow channel of the river.

A Basilisk lizard lounges along the Tortuguero River in Costa Rica. Photo by Derek Stoner.

A Basilisk lizard lounges along the Tortuguero River in Costa Rica. Photo by Derek Stoner.

Along the high banks of the river, we spied droopy-eyed Brahma cattle– the type of bovine that thrives in the heat and humidity of the tropics.  Around one bend we came across a large American Crocodile (12+ feet long) hauled out on the sunny sandbar.   Cattle Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and other wading birds flushed and swirled away as our boat encroached on their zone of comfort.

But the real excitement came when we began spotting the beautiful Basilisks, a species of large golden-green lizard that is most famous for its ability to skip across the water on its hind legs.  The moniker of “Jesus Christ Lizard” is what makes this species most famous, and the question in our minds was:  Would we get to see these amazing reptiles actually walk on water?

Stay tuned for the answer to that question and more highlights from our Costa Rica adventure…

By Joe Sebastiani, Seasonal Program Team Leader

Ten Delaware Nature Society members accompanied me to Costa Rica over the last few weeks for a trip entitled, “A World of Nature”.  It sure was!  Led by Jose Saenz working for Collette Vacations, we were treated to 12 days of rainforests, 220 species of birds, 4 species of monkey, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, rubber spiders, a volcano, white-water rafting, lots of good food, and some heavy rain periodically.  We were in the rainforest after all. 

Tortuguero National Park was our first destination.  Our lodge was accessible only by boat, as is everything in the park.  Boat trips through the swamp forest occupied our time there, as did birding on the grounds of the beautiful Evergreen Lodge.  If you have never been to the tropics before, the birds can be completely overwhelming on day one.  More than once, I had to tell our group to “take a deep breath…take it one bird at a time”.  A swirl of toucans, trogons, warblers, tanagers, hummingbirds, flycatchers, and euphonias bent the eye and mind in the first hour of light.

We took three nature explorations by boat the first day of the trip.  The video below highlights some of our special sightings including a daring water rescue of a Three-toed Sloth, a White-faced Capuchin Monkey leaping about 45 feet out of a tree, and Great Curassow, one of our really good species we found on the trip.  There will be more to come about our fantastic trip, but for now, enjoy the video…