The most biologically intense place on earth
By Nick St Clair for the Earthtimes.org
Costa Rica has long been renowned for its incredible biodiversity; a small, yet environmentally rich country that is home to over 5% of the entire world's animal and plant species.
Lying along its south-western coast is the Osa Peninsula, a tiny strip of land measuring just 35 miles long and 20 miles wide and covered in magnificent, unspoiled rainforest. The Osa Peninsula is itself home to half of all the species in Costa Rica, that's a staggering 2.5% of the entire biodiversity of the planet, living on a mere 0.00000085% of the earth's total surface area.
Formed geologically by the same faulting system that extends to California, this patch of Costa Rica's last remaining tropical humid rainforest embraces a complex system of freshwater and marine systems; there are 13 major ecosystems, ranging from sea level to 745 metres and encompassing mangroves, sandy beaches and elevated primary forests.
As a result, the Osa Peninsula is home to over 700 species of trees, which is more than all the North temperate regions of the world combined. Trees that are comparable in grandeur to the best that the Amazon Basin and the South East Asian forests have to offer, with 80 endemic species and the largest tree in Central America, a giant Silk Cotton tree some 77 metres tall.
There are 117 species of reptiles and amphibians, 365 species of birds and over 120 species of mammals, (all with varying degrees of endemism). Its forests are home to endangered species such as Baird's tapir, the white-lipped peccary, the American crocodile, the harpy eagle and the Central American squirrel monkey.
|Endangered Central American harpy eagle|
To read the rest of this article please go to:
Hey! why can't I read the full text here?
Duplication of a site’s content has a negative effect on its popularity with Search Engines. So in the drive to provide my clients with unique, original (and entertaining) content, even though I wrote this I don't even reproduce it fully myself.