Animals in Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula
The Tree-toed Sloth spends its days clinging in the tree tops where it feeds on leaves. Each sloth feeds on a different mix of tree leaves: from their mother they inherit their family's own set of bacterias in their stomach who help them to digest their mix of leaves, which another sloth family can not digest.
The sloth's fur is a biotop in itself where algae grow, along with insects like moths, beetles, mites and ticks. When the sloth grooms himself he always gets a little snack of high-fat algae and proteins.
One time per week a sloth climbs down from his tree to defecate, which refertilizes the tree on which the sloth feeds.
The pre-historic sloth lived in Patagonia 5 million years ago. With a size of around 6 meters it was as big as an elephant.
The largest mammal in Costa Rica is the endangered Tapir. It needs large territories for living. In Costa Rica they are today only found in large nature reserves like Corcovado and La Amistad.
The strange looking animal with its long, flexible snout is a relative to horses and rhinoceroses. It feeds on leaves, twigs, fruits and seeds. Tapirs have a poor eyeshight but they are excellent swimmers and are usually found near water. Their only enemy in the jungle is the jaguar.
Tapirs are very important seed dispersers. In Costa Rica there are several native plants, whose seeds will only germinate after having passed the tapirs digestive tract.