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Celestial Fireworks Light Up Costa Rican Skies: A Night to Remember (Video)

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In the wee hours of a Monday morning that promised nothing more than the beginning of another routine week, the skies over Costa Rica decided to throw an impromptu cosmic party. Between the very human hours of 1:45 and 2:00 a.m. on February 12th, Costa Ricans who traded sleep for sky-gazing were treated to a spectacle that left many rubbing their eyes in disbelief. It wasn’t a bird, it wasn’t a plane, and it definitely wasn’t Superman—it was, according to the brainy folks at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), space debris doing its best meteorite impression.

Captured on numerous smartphones, the phenomenon lit up the night with a brilliance usually reserved for blockbuster disaster movies. The videos, now doing the rounds on the internet, show what looks like a fiery intruder burning up as it gatecrashes through our atmosphere. The UCR’s experts, presumably adjusting their glasses for effect, have identified the intruder as nothing more sinister than the remnants of humanity’s extraterrestrial escapades—old satellites, spent rocket stages, and the like, all leftover from space missions past.

Eric Sanchez, the director of UCR’s Planetarium, taking a break from his usual stargazing, shared that what the early risers witnessed was essentially space junk in the final throes of its cosmic journey. According to Sanchez, while Earth gets frequent visits from these celestial party crashers, having front-row seats to the show in Costa Rica was a stroke of astronomical luck, courtesy of the season’s clear skies.

For those wondering if the sky is falling—fear not. Sanchez, along with Xiomara Márquez from the Physics Department of the National University, reassured everyone that these spectacular sky shows pose no threat to terra firma or its inhabitants. The remnants of our adventures beyond the blue usually end their days in a blaze of glory over uninhabited expanses, far from the prying eyes of civilization.

Márquez, possibly while leafing through a physics textbook for dramatic effect, explained that these orbital oddities, when they decide to come back down to Earth, are pulled in by gravity, meet their fiery end due to atmospheric friction, and put on quite the light show in the process. She also noted that both hefty space rocks and pebble-sized debris are invited to this atmospheric bonfire, but neither is inclined to RSVP with doom for humanity.

The light show was a nationwide event, with social media buzzing with reports from awestruck onlookers from the capital to the coastal provinces of Limon and Puntarenas. The night sky, usually a silent guardian, transformed into a dance floor lit by the swirling lights of our own spacefaring history.

So, while the stars above usually twinkle with a calm constancy, Costa Rica was reminded that every so often, the heavens like to remind us of our place in the cosmos with a little pyrotechnics. And for one night, at least, the universe’s penchant for cosmic debris provided a fireworks display that was, quite literally, out of this world.



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The Mystery of the Misshapen: Unraveling the Genetic Enigma of Central America’s Sloths

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In the verdant heart of Central America, a peculiar trend has caught the eye of scientists and animal lovers alike. For over a decade, the lush jungles have been the stage for an unfolding mystery: an unusual influx of baby sloths bearing the marks of genetic anomalies. This phenomenon, characterized by misshapen limbs, missing appendages, and rare instances of albinism, has perplexed researchers and spurred a quest for answers amidst the canopy’s emerald embrace.

A Puzzling Pattern Emerges

It was during her Ph.D. research near the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica in San Clemente that Dr. Rebecca Cliffe first encountered these anomalies. Sloths with limbs that zigged when they should have zagged, some missing fingers, toes, or even entire limbs, became subjects of her study. “Their ears and jaws were also prone to deformity,” Cliffe revealed in a dialogue that shed light on the severity of these genetic mutations.

Not confined to the sanctuaries, these anomalies were also witnessed in the wild. “In the South Caribbean, it’s not uncommon to spot adult sloths thriving despite missing limbs,” Cliffe added, highlighting the resilience of these creatures. Yet, the question looms: What causes these genetic mutations?

Beyond External Anomalies

The intrigue deepens as Dr. Andrés Bräutigam, a veterinarian at the Toucan Rescue Ranch, points to internal issues. “Many mutations affect internal organs, leading to congenital conditions that hinder the development of lungs and hearts, among others,” Bräutigam explained. This suggests that the problem is more complex, with mutations often flying under the radar due to the necessity for extensive medical examination.

The Struggle for Survival

The survival of these sloths is a tale of resilience and tragedy. “Even a missing finger can mean a death sentence,” Cliffe remarked, noting that necropsies often reveal numerous internal abnormalities. These revelations paint a stark picture of the challenges faced by sloths from birth, thrusting them into a fight for survival from their first breath.

Costa Rica: A Biodiversity Powerhouse

Costa Rica, known for its rich biodiversity and status as a sanctuary for an estimated 5 percent of the world’s species, finds its national symbol in the sloth. This nation, boasting the highest density of sloths, is also the world’s leading pineapple producer, a fact that harks back to a time when pineapples were a symbol of wealth and extravagance in colonial America.

The Pineapple Connection

The pineapple, once a luxury that could command prices as steep as $8,000 in today’s money, has a history intertwined with international trade and the democratization of luxury. Charles Lamb’s 1857 description of the pineapple as a fruit whose taste is “almost too transcendent” echoes through time, reminding us of the fruit’s enduring appeal.

Seeking Answers

As researchers like Cliffe and Bräutigam peel back the layers of this mystery, their work sheds light on the resilience of nature and the interplay between genetics and environment. The plight of the sloths serves as a poignant reminder of our interconnected world, where the health of the smallest creatures can reflect broader ecological changes.

This ongoing saga of discovery and resilience in the face of genetic adversity offers a window into the complexities of nature, urging us to pay closer attention to the silent stories unfolding in the world around us.



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Know the Benefits of This Procedure for Your Pet ⋆ The Costa Rica News

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With the aim of helping to raise awareness about the need to sterilize our pets, to save animal lives; The last Tuesday of February marked World Animal Sterilization Day.

Sterilization consists of the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus (in females), or the surgical resection of the testicles (in males) of pet animals, to prevent the reproduction of unplanned offspring and litters.

“In this way, we contribute to the reduction of pet overpopulation, since there is a high number of dogs and cats that do not have a family or a home. The benefit of sterilization is also for pets with families, since it reduces the possibility of transmission of some diseases. Likewise, this procedure helps prevent illnesses in companion animals,” explained Adrián Polo, Veterinarian and Technical Manager of the Companion Animal Unit of MSD Animal Health in Central America, the Caribbean and Ecuador (CENCA EC).

Sterilization rate is more than 80%

According to a study by Humane Society International, in some areas of Costa Rica the dog sterilization rate is more than 80%, demonstrating that the population density of stray dogs has decreased in some urban areas of the country where spaying and neutering is more common.

Within the framework of this important day, specialists from MSD Animal Health highlighted that, contrary to what many think, this procedure can have great benefits for the health of animals.

Some of these benefits are:

For dogs:

  • Reduces the risk of developing testicular neoplasms.
  • Reduces the risk of prostate diseases.
  • Reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors in females.
  • Minimizes the risk of pyometra (uterine infection), which kills approximately 1% of all female dogs.
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian tumors.
  • It can help reduce roaming behaviors, territorial marking, aggression, among others.

For cats:

  • It can help decrease marking behavior in the house.
  • Eliminates aggressive behavior with other cats.
  • Reduces the transmission of diseases such as viral leukemia and immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Helps prevent the appearance of prostate, testicular and anal tumors.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the general benefits of sterilization are as follows:

  • Spaying your female pet dramatically reduces her risk of breast cancer, which is fatal in approximately 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
  • Neutering the male pet eliminates his risk of testicular cancer.
  • Spaying the female pet prevents heat cycles and eliminates meowing, crying, erratic behavior, and bloody vaginal discharge.
  • Neutering the male pet reduces inappropriate behaviors, such as wandering to find a mate, marking inside his home, and fighting with other males.

AAHA guidelines recommend that cats be sterilized before five months of age. While small breed dogs (less than 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at six months of age or spayed before the first heat (five to six months). Large breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which generally occurs between 9 and 15 months of age.

The surgical and anesthetic techniques currently used allow sterilization to be an elective procedure with a large margin of safety for the animals, in addition to the fact that postoperative care is minimal and the animal returns to its normal life in a very short time; recovery takes no more than 24 hours.

According to specialists, sterilization is a preventive measure that improves the quality of life of pets and that contributes to the control of the animal population, avoiding more abandonments and they recommend taking the pet to the Veterinarian to follow their recommendations on this important procedure.

Resonance Costa Rica
At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel https://youtube.com/@resonanceCR



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Canada defeats Costa Rica 1-0 in extra time in Women’s Gold Cup quarterfinals :

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Canada achieved a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in extra time of the quarterfinals of the first-ever Women’s Gold Cup on Saturday.

Evelyne Viens, a striker for Italian club Roma, scored the game’s only goal in the 104th minute at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles (California, United States), where Costa Rica had good chances to pull off the upset.

Canada, the reigning Olympic champions, will face the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal between the United States and Colombia in the semifinals on Wednesday.

The North American team struggled much more than expected against a Costa Rica side that had earned its quarterfinal spot via an unlikely draw.

At the end of the first round, the Ticos were tied with Puerto Rico in the race to be one of the best third-place teams in the groups, and CONCACAF resolved the situation with a draw that Costa Rica won.

The Central American team, who played in the 2022 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, was subjected to a siege from Canada for much of the game on Saturday but had several chances to tilt the match in their favor.

The clearest opportunity came in the 90+3rd minute when Alexa Herrera received the ball in the area but her close-range shot was blocked by Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan’s leg.

Canada, which tallied a total of 20 shots to Costa Rica’s two, breathed a sigh of relief in extra time when Evelyne Viens headed a free kick delivery into the Tico area into the top corner.

Costa Rica still had a chance at penalties in a last play in the 120th minute, when Priscila Chinchilla sent a venomous cross into the area that Valeria del Campo headed over the crossbar.

Saturday’s slate of quarterfinal matches was rounded out by a clash between Brazil and Argentina, two of the four South American teams invited to this CONCACAF tournament along with Colombia and Paraguay.



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