Limon Carnival Celebrates Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean Culture

Starting this weekend the port city of Limón kicks off its annual Carnival festivities, a 12-day Caribbean street party celebrating the kaleidoscope of cultures on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The famous party commemorates Christopher Columbus’ historic arrival to Costa Rica’s coconut-fringed Caribbean coast in 1502. Visitors will come from all over for the 2012 “Carnaval del Caribe” (Caribbean Carnival) that starts off this year on Oct. 11 and lasts through Oct. 22. Colorful parades, Caribbean cuisine, open-air concerts, calypso music...

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A Turtle with an Alligator Bite / Una tortuga con mordida de lagarto.

A Turtle with an Alligator Bite The South American Snapping Turtle, called locally the “Alligator turtle” because of its strong and fast bite, is a predator that hunts for fish, frogs, snakes, birds and small mammals; they also feed on aquatic plants. Their behavior is aggressive, but in the water they are relatively harmless unless disturbed. Its scientific name is Chelydra acutirostris and it is the largest semi-aquatic turtle of Costa Rica; turtles can grow to be up to half...

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Tropics Play Pivotal Role in Climate Change.

Take a deep breath. Now imagine your lung capacity reduced by one-fifth. Find it a bit harder to breathe? What if that lessens? Now take your focus out to a global view, and you have a clear picture of what is happening in the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon is the largest contiguous tropical forest in the world, and releases 20% of the world’s life-giving oxygen. Today in 2012, due to mostly slash-and-burn deforestation, nearly one-fifth of the Amazon’s forest has...

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Migrations of the “Colipato” Moth (Urania fulgens) / Migraciones de la Mariposa ¨Colipato¨ (Urania fulgens)

Migrations of the “Colipato” Moth (Urania fulgens) The species Urania fulgens (Uraniidae) belongs to the group of moths or “night butterflies,” however it is a diurnal species. This moth is popularly known as “colipato” and it is common to observe it only at certain times of the year, flying in large groups, due to their migration behaviour. The species is found from the United States to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. In Costa Rica, there are non-migratory populations in the Atlantic...

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Can an animal live without lungs? / ¿Puede un animal vivir sin pulmones?

Can an animal live without lungs? Even though salamanders are native to temperate zones, where they have the greatest diversity, some species of salamanders also live in the Costa Rican rainforest. They move slowly, seeking refuge in the leaf litter and exploring countless plants of the undergrowth looking for small arthropods to prey upon. The salamanders that inhabit Costa Rica have no lungs, so their gas exchange occurs mainly through their delicate skin. These amphibians have a tail that when...

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