Crocodiles have been on Earth for hundreds of millions of years, with few evolutionary changes, and they remain one of the most predatorily rainforest animals. Smaller in size, the caiman is a frequent sight in some lowland rivers. You can safely take great pictures of both and enjoy sightings of rainforest animals in your Costa Rican vacation, while staying at the Los Lagos Hotel, Spa & Resort.
Despite their prehistoric appearance, crocodiles and caimans are among the most biologically complex reptiles. Their external morphology is a sign of their aquatic and predatory lifestyle and has made them incredibly successful swimmers. They also tuck their limbs to their sides while swimming, which makes them even faster.
In the Costa Rican tropical rainforest you can see some of the largest crocodiles in the world (apart from the Australian and African varieties), and our farm has in residence a 4 m (12 feet) individual, although in the wild crocodiles can grow to about 5-6 mts. Despite their more than 3,000 pounds per square inch of jaw power (by far the strongest bite of any animal thanks to their powerfully developed jawbone muscles), female crocodiles take motherly care of their offspring, carrying them in their mouths and protecting them for some months after hatching. Crocodiles are very fast over short distances, even out of water.
Caimans are smaller than crocodiles and are not harmful to people. They eat fish, amphibians and other small animals. The main physical difference between these two reptiles is the more pointed snout in crocodiles, as well as their exposed lower teeth. Also, the caiman has a distinctive spectacle-shaped coloring near the eyes. But, lacking thermal regulation, both species depend on environmental heat. In excessive heat, they open their mouths, exposing their tongues to fresh air to cool off. They also get vitamin D from the sun. Newly hatched crocodiles and caimans eat insects, but if they are not careful themselves, they can become food for Jabirus, Wood Storks or Great Egrets. Adult crocodiles and caimans have no predators in the rainforest, except for human hunters.
Don't forget that after an intense and active tour day you can relax in the hotel’s natural hot springs and enjoy the health and beauty of our Fangus Spa.