What’s hairy, eight-legged, and under glass?

March 25, 2015

INBio’s vision was fairly corporate-sounding: “To be the natural theme park with an entrepreneurial spirit aimed at self-sufficiency and commitment to innovation, quality, and excellence in services provided.” Such phrasing sounds less like John Muir and more like John Hammond, but if any country in the world should be a testing ground for this kind of business model, it’s Costa Rica.

In one classroom, I surveyed the jars of specimens – pickled frogs and insects – that lined the walls. Giant moths shared table space with a spider under glass. Seeing them arranged together, I can get choked up over the range of nature’s expression. It’s too bad to see an insect impaled with a pin, but such displays keep each specimen in place. You can study them for as long as you want, without the jumpy paranoia of the actual wilderness. Frozen in place, such a bestiary can seem like an art exhibit created by the universe.

Read more about Robert Isenberg’s visit to INBioParque in his column, “Pura Vía.”

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