Introduction to Costa Rica
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Fauna: Mammals Birds Reptiles Insects Fish
Destination content Christopher P. Baker, used from Moon Handbooks Costa Rica, 5th edition.
Costa Rica is as renowned for its marine life as for its terrestrial and avian fauna--most famously, perhaps, for the billfish (marlin and sailfish) that cruise the deep blue waters offshore, and for tarpon and snook, feisty estuarine and wetland game fish. The former swim seasonally in the warm waters off the Golfo de Papagayo and Golfo Dolfo. The latter are particularly concentrated in the waters of the Río Colorado and Caño Negro.

Costa Rica lacks substantial coral reefs, though reefs can be found offshore of Cahuita and Gandoca-Manzanillo, on the Caribbean, and Bahía Ballena, along the Central Pacific shore.

Sharks are forever present in Costa Rican waters. They seem particularly to favor waters in which marine turtles swim. Isla Cocos is renowned for its schools of hammerhead sharks as well as giant whale shark (the world's largest fish), which can also be found hanging out with giant grouper, jewfish, and manta rays in the waters around the Islas Murciélagos, off the Santa Elena peninsula of Guanacaste.

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