After the Manuel Antonio National Park visit we went back to the hostel to relax a bit. We met our flatmates (Jenni and Thomas) and they had also booked themselves for the Mangrove Tour so we hung out with them on the porch until we were picked up for the tour.
The river was half an hour away in car and we were taken to a nice dock where we boarded a riverboat. We had 2 guides. One driving the boat and one of the Vista Serena Hostel employees was our other guide.
During the trip we learned about the 4 different species of Mangrove trees and about animals living in the Mangrove Trees. We also learned that Mangrove Roots is one of the strongest root systems in the world and no matter how much it will bend it will not break if you step on it. If you are stuck in the Mangroves and dont have a boat. Walk on the Mangrove roots. :D
We saw lots of beautiful animals today as well. A few White-faced Capuchin monkeys even boarded our boat.
Jenni with a Capuchin walking all over her.
We also saw Jesus Christ Lizards:
And some really cool and spaced out crabs:
We also saw several Red tailed Squirrel, many different species of Birds (Little green back heron, Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Crested Caracara, Great white Egret, Gray Necked woodrail, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill, White Ibris, Ringed Kingfisher), lots of Termite nests (which are not meat, just protein And also gluten free). A grasshopper landed on the boat, but left again quite soon.
After the tour we were taken back to the hostel and there we relaxed a bit before going out for dinner with Magnus’ parents.
About Mangroves in Costa Rica:
There are 4 types of Mangrove Trees in Costa Rica:
Red mangroves are easily distinguishable through their unique prop roots system and viviparous seeds. The prop roots of a red mangrove suspend it over the water, thereby giving it extra support and protection. They also help the tree to combat hypoxia by allowing it a direct intake of oxygen through its root structure.
The bark is gray-brown or reddish, and rough and fissured. Pneumatophores and/or prop roots may be present, depending on environmental conditions. The leaves are opposite, elliptical, 12–18 centimetres and 2.5–5 cm broad, rounded at both ends, entire, smooth, leathery in texture, slightly fleshy, without visible veins, and yellow-green in color. The white, bell-shaped flowers are mostly bisexual and about 5 mm long. The fruit is a reddish-brown drupe, about 12–20 mm long, with longitudinal ridges. The single seed is sometimes viviparous.
The black mangrove grows just above the high tide in coastal lagoons and brackish water estuaries. It is less tolerant of highly saline conditions that certain other species that occur in mangrove ecosystems. It can reach 10–15 m in height. The seeds germinate in midsummer, but may be seen all year on the trees. The seeds can remain viable for over a year, once released.
The leafs extract salt and during dry season you can scrape the salt off their leaves.
The Pineapple Mangrove mainly looks like the leaves of the pineapple when you squeeze them together.