Costa Rica — A country of staggering diversity, Costa Rica is rife with the beautiful, the complex and the weird. These nine photos, taken with a Lytro Illum camera, capture a tiny sliver of that diversity, as glimpsed by MU journalists. Photos by Caleb O’Brien
A sea turtle’s tracks run from a sunken nest down toward the ocean, where they vanish at the high-tide line on Playa Junquillal.
The bull’s horn acacia tree, Johan Martinez explains, benefits from a noteworthy coevolutionary relationship. Colonies of ants live within the trees’ hollow thorns and fend off hordes of ravenous caterpillars and other predators. In return, the ants benefit from the trees’ shelter and nutritious buds, called Beltian bodies. Martinez works in Santa Rosa National Park in the Areá de Conservación Guanacaste, or Guanacaste Conservation Area.
A species of native stingless bees set up shop in a wooden box near a Monteverde hotel. The bees build wax funnel entrances to their hives.
Exuding post-coital bliss, a ctenosaur basks in the sun.
A toucan hams it up in the Centro de Rescate Las Pumas, a wild animal rescue center in Guanacaste Province.
At the rescue center, this jaguar’s eyes speak volumes.
The Bellbird Biological Corridor encompasses the community of San Luis, nestled in this verdant valley.
Christian Zuñiga, a park guard in the Areá de Conservación Guanacaste, holds a false coral snake on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano.
In a small clearing upslope from the beach at Playa Junquillal, a forgotten doll’s arm lingers, patient, implacable.