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Aviarios del Caribe

Too cool for School - Rebecca testing new temperature measuring kit

At the moment I am staying at Aviarios sloth sanctuary on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, where I am supporting Rebecca Cliffe, one of our zoology students. Rebecca is on a year-long placement conducting research on the metabolic rate of sloths in relation to temperature and activity. Unlike many other mammals, a sloth’s thermoregulation is very similar to that of amphibians and reptiles, in that they rely heavily on the temperature of their immediate environment. Although I am supervising the project, it has been made possible due a special device developed by Dr Rory Wilson from Swansea University.  It’s called the daily diary , and using it Rebecca is able to accurately measure the sloth’s activity – literally every second!

A one armed sloth recuperating at Aviarios

I have been coming to Aviarios since the very first time I visited Costa Rica, some 14 years ago, and the owners have become extremely good friends of mine. It is always a pleasure to witness how the sanctuary is going from strength to strength. I think sloths are just wonderful creatures and the more I find out about them the more captivated I become with them. Below are some links to video clips I made last year, but if anyone would like to have another made especially for them in answer to a question, please just let me know and I would be very happy to oblige.

Read all about Becky Cliffe’s placement

Student Experience at FLS Manchester


Watch a video of Rebecca with baby sloths

Watch an introductory video to Aviarios

Watch Adult sloths at Aviarios

Watch orphaned sloths at Aviarios

Watch sunbathing Frogs and Sloths

2 Responses

  1. Hi Andrew.
    Really interesting stuff you’re working with and so many different and important aspects!
    Further information about the glassfrogs and how they are surviving the chytrid fungus in the area could be interesting. Some night walks in El Valle Panama over the last years have shown me, that they are suffering a lot.
    The calcarifer is of course another very interesting item!
    Here at my place in Denmark we have 15 centimetres of snow, so it seems to be a little nicer in Costa Rica 🙂
    Best wishes

    • Hi Max, good to hear from you! Yes, slightly warmer than Denmark here :-), but to be honest it’s a little too hot for comfort. Being near Christmas time, it’s a bit surreal to see people have Christmas trees up, snowmen decorations, and even use that spray on snow 🙂

      When I finish working with Rebecca I will be heading out to the Pacific side and also the Rainforest area of the CRARC with my fellow herpetologist friends Matt Wilson and Brian Kubicki. I’ll make a nice video of wild calcarifer for you if we find some while at the CRARC. Also, next week we plan to try and record the call one of the rarest glassfrogs here. There are more glasfrogs at the CRARC than anywhere else I know of in CR so you can also expect another video made especially to answer to your glassfrog question. Cheers for nice comments. All the best, Andrew

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