Monkey eats lizard, Costa Rica
When you put yourself in the middle of nature, you can’t be too surprised when you see the realities of nature. It doesn’t mean you’re prepared for it to be so brutal.
It was getting late in the day when I was walking back to the beach at Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park. The area is full of wildlife and I had seen a sloth high the branches, a howler monkey lazing in a tree, and plenty of white-faced capuchin monkeys.
So I was not too surprised when I saw another white-faced capuchin race across the track in front of me. It was certainly moving a bit faster than the ones I had seen previously but it wasn’t something that I questioned. Not until I saw the flash of green in front of it, that was.
The capuchin, it turned out, was chasing a green lizard. It was a largish lizard – at least 30 centimetres long. It was not a fast enough lizard, though. The monkey caught up with it and wrapped its little paws around its body, lifting it off the ground.
What do you do with a lizard you’ve caught? Well, the monkey took it up into the branch of a nearby tree and looked around for any of his mates who might want their share. Luckily for this guy, there was nobody around. It was dinner for one.
And so he then got stuck into the lizard as though it was a corn on the cob. It ripped off the tail and started with that, keeping a little bit for later (perhaps it was to be a toothpick at some point).
Holding the lizard tightly, the capuchin then bit right into the middle of its body. It munched away, chewing and chewing until it was ready to swallow – and then it took another bite.
I was shocked. We all know that animals eat other animals but it’s not always so violently in your face. Most animals seem to have an unwitting self-consciousness about it and seem to do it with a level of privacy. This monkey was not going to wait until it was alone, though. It was hungry and was going to make sure it did not lose this opportunity.
I hope you enjoy the little video I managed to capture of the meal. It’s certainly not something you see every day. Although in Costa Rica, it’s probably more common than you realise.
Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Visit Costa Rica but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.