Many people are afraid of crocodiles. Did you know that in Costa Rica there are two different species of crocodiles?

In Costa Rica there are two distinct species: the American crocodile (which is dangerous to humans) and the caiman (which does not attack humans).

The American Crocodile

The American crocodile can measure up to 6 meters long and weigh almost a ton. They usually live in rivers, although sometimes, near estuaries, also, it is not uncommon to see crocodiles swimming in the sea near beaches.

American crocodiles are carnivores and eat all kinds of meat: from birds to fish, iguanas, turtles, deer and, yes, even humans.

In Costa Rica, it is easy to see them from the Tárcoles river’s bridge, very safely, from above. In this river there are dozens of giant crocodiles. It is not recommended to take boat tours that feed crocodiles. Indeed, it is not only very dangerous but it also disturbs the balance of nature. Let’s not forget that crocodiles are wild animals.

What is recommended is not to swim in rivers where you are not sure there are no crocodiles. Never approach or feed them. If you come across a crocodile, run in a straight line.



The Alligator

This species is much smaller than the American crocodile. It does not attack humans. The alligator is distinguished by the presence of a bony ridge between and in front of the eyes, resembling glasses, hence the name “spectacled alligator”. In addition, unlike the American crocodile, the alligator’s teeth are hidden.

Alligators eat all animals in their habitat: they eat fish, amphibians, birds and birds or dead mammals they find.

Some of the most popular places to see these caimans are the Tortuguero canals.

Author: M.Barrantes for Sensorial Sunsets