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Spoiler Alert! It's a Lizard!


A bromeliad lizard, Anadia ocellata. Photo by Albán Jiménez Céspedes.

In June, students in the Programa de Educación Biológica (PEB) program were visiting Estación San Gerardo on the Caribbean side of Área de Conservación Guanacaste when a few of them yelled, "snake, snake!" And, while what they found does look very much like a snake at first glance, it was actually a bromeliad lizard, Anadia ocellata. It was a lucky find, according to PEB educator Albán Jiménez Céspedes, because these lizards are more typically found in the forest canopy several meters high. As Jiménez notes, "These and many more unrepeatable experiences are experienced in each educational tour PEB takes in ACG. We are very happy to return after the pandemic to the face-to-face educational tours where the children are taught to read nature, to use it a clever way without destroying it." Below, in the video, the lizard makes a swaying motion, which Jiménez says is likely an attempt to appear to be a stick swaying in the wind, or a snake, to avoid predators.

This photo shows the actual size of the lizard, which is quite small. The PEB team moved the lizard from the ground to a tree, for its safety. Photo by Albán Jiménez Céspedes.