When we crossed the log bridge shown yesterday, this baby iguana was on a broken tree trunk, right at eye level, to greet us. He did not move until we got very close. Even more so than most animals, iguanas are much cuter as infants than as adults. In fact, some adult iguanas are downright ugly (in my opinion), although harmless and fascinating to watch, with their dinosaur-like movements and appearance.
There are several ways to distinguish between iguanas and baby geckos. Iguanas come out in the day, and geckos are nocturnal. Iguanas have claws, whereas geckos have round pads on their toes, with tiny hooks underneath, too small to see, that they can use for climbing up walls and hanging on ceilings. Iguanas usually have round eyes, whereas a gecko's eyes have vertical slits for vision at night.
I hope that my posts during the last couple of days did not build up expectations for something more dramatic than a baby iguana. We did see a toucan, monkeys and a capybara on this same hike.
My favorite jungle wildlife story occurred in the Amazon rather than in Costa Rica. I can brag that I deflected a full speed attack by a wild animal at night with my lightning-quick reflexes, as the animal bounced off my forearm, which I raised in front of my face in the nick of time. What type of animal was it, you may wonder? A hummingbird.