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COSTA RICAN JUNGLE

Serpent fer-de-lance dans la jungle du Costa Rica

Fer-de-lance
This poisonous snake, which is lethal for men, can reach a length of 2 meters. Spread between Mexico and Tropical South America, we find it in forests and in farm fields where preys abound. Birds, small rodents and other reptiles are part of its menu. It is called lancehead because of the resemblance its head has with a spearhead.

According to the Encarta Encyclopaedia, the fer_de_lance’s poison contains hemotoxins, which destroys red blood cells and the walls of blood vessel, provoking inner haemorrhage and oedemas, along with anticoagulant substances. Many components of its poison are used in the fabrication of anticoagulant medicine.

 
Papillon morpho

Morpho
Perfectly camouflaged when its wings are folded up, the morpho shows off all its grandness with its metallic blue wings, easily noticeable in a dense forest. Many species are threatened of extinction, because it is prized by collectors and by the intensive deforestation of its habitat.

Papillon morpho
 

Dendrobate
Dressed with dazzling colors, this small frog, which is not longer than 5 cm, exudes a toxin by the skin that protects it from predators by burning and paralysing their mouths. The poison produced by this amphibian is used by Indians for hunting. The head of their arrows dipped in this toxin is however not enough to intoxicate preys’ consumer. We find the dendrobate in the dense forests of Latin America.

Grenouille toxique, dendrobate

 
Mante religieuse

Praying Mantis
The only insect capable of turning its head laterally, the female has the particularity of eating the male after mating. It uses its two front legs to grab preys, which are generally other insects. We find it in tropical and temperate regions across the world.

Mante religieuse
 

Paresseux du Costa Rica

Sloths
Slow in its movements, the sloth descends on the ground about once a week for urinating and defecating. Once on the soil, it has great difficulty moving, it has to crawl on its back. The formation of green alga on its fur allows it to mix up with trees, where it passes most of its time. This way, it is safe from its main predator, the jaguar. Again according to the Encarta Encyclopaedia, the giant land sloth, which lived more than ten thousand years ago, was the same height of an elephant.
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