The Dominican Republic is the second-largest island in the Caribbean, and it might come as no surprise to you that it is home to some of the most interesting and unique wildlife in the world.
There are so many species of birds, reptiles, and mammals that it will be hard to keep track.
There are animals such as the rhinoceros iguana, the West Indian manatee, the Hispaniolan hutia which is a massive rodent and the La Hotte Blind Snake.
No matter where you go on this island, there are plenty of creatures that look like they’ve come from another planet.
But what are the most interesting creatures to come from the Dominican Republic? What are the most exotic reptiles? What birds of paradise do they have there?
Well, we’ve scanned the internet to find 11 of the most interesting animals from the Dominican Republic you might not have heard of before.
Fun Facts About The Dominican Republic
First, it is probably worth giving out some interesting information about this unique part of the world, so you can get a better idea of the backdrop against which you can find a lot of these creatures.
Here are some facts you might not have heard of before:
- This island was first discovered by the West in 1492, by accident when Christopher Columbus was searching for a new trade route.
- The flag of the Dominican Republic is the only one to feature the image of the Holy Bible.
- There’s a strange gravitational phenomenon that occurs when you are in the DR. If you take your car off neutral on a hill, it will roll up the hill instead of down!
- The blue of the flag symbolizes liberty, the red is symbolic of the blood that was shed to gain the country’s independence and the white symbolizes the salvation that comes from God.
- The largest mountain on this island and indeed the whole of the Caribbean is Pico Duarte, which is around 3,098 meters tall.
- If you are looking for good timekeeping in the Dominican Republic, then you might be waiting for a long time… literally! It is very normal for people to arrive nearly an hour late for most appointments.
Now that we’ve covered a little bit of the history of this remarkable place, we’re going to look at some of the amazing animals that you can find there, animals that you might not have heard of before.
So, let’s do a deep dive!
11 Interesting Animals In Dominican Republic
We’re going to break down these animals into their various species. Let’s start with the native birds in this area:
1. The La Selle Thrush
This is a bird that you can find in the densely forested areas of the DR.
You might have to be especially watchful to find this small, black, orange-beaked bird, as the population is on the decline.
This creature can be found approaching roadways, although it is very reclusive.
You can find this bird in mountainous areas and some of the national parks, where it usually likes subtropical or tropical habitats.
This bird has rapidly dropped in numbers in recent years, mostly due to the loss of habitat.
2. The Caribbean Flamingo
This next incredible-looking creature can be found in various places around the Dominican Republic and a few other Caribbean Islands.
You’ll be able to spot this flamingo from quite a distance as it has a pink orangey plumage and a large bill that hooks downwards.
This flamingo has a very distinctive mating ritual where the female will court the male by walking in front of him.
If the male expresses interest, he will then walk alongside her. These pairings are monogamous, meaning that these animals will mate for life.
3. Hispaniolan Woodpecker
This is another bird that you will not be able to mistake in the wild, coming with yellow and black striped plumage, wild yellow eyes, a sharp bill, and a glowing red spot on its forehead.
This can be found in wet, broadleaf, and coniferous forests.
This bird will feed on many creatures including insects, reptiles, spiders, scorpions, lizards, fruits, nuts, and other types of berries.
You can find these birds in large flocks, and they will nest with around 26 pairs of birds in one tree.
1. Rhinoceros Iguana
This next lizard is very large, coming with what is known as a pseudo-horn on the front of its nose.
It can have a range of skin colors, from green to gray to dark brown.
This is a very peaceful creature, so you should be able to get quite close without it running or attacking you.
This has a very distinctive form of communication where the reptile will bob its head to signal to other Rhinoceros Iguana.
This animal is largely herbivorous, meaning that it will only eat leaves, fruit, and other berries.
2. Brahminy Blind Snake
Now you might have seen this creature before, as it looks like the common earthworm.
It is small with a long, shiny, round body and very beady black eyes.
This snake is covered in translucent scales, and it cannot see shapes, but it can register light.
This snake will often feast on things like larvae, eggs, and the young of insects such as ants.
They can be found in lots of environments, such as under logs, leaves, stones, and humus in wet forests.
They can also be found in dry patches of jungle, abandoned buildings, and large city gardens.
This is a sea turtle that can be found off the shores of the DR, they come with large flippers in the shapes of paddles and a round flat shell.
These turtles can be found in the warmer parts of the Mediterranean, but they will often come to shore to nest.
There are several species that are endangered due to poaching and overfishing.
Their diet is quite varied, and they will eat sea sponges, jellyfish, mollusks and barnacles, and urchins.
Turtles play a very important role in preserving the underwater ecosystem.
1. Hispaniolan Solenodon
This mammal is a small rodent that looks very much like a shrew with a protruding nose, but it is venomous.
They live in moist forested areas where the food is abundant, and they can make burrows to nest their young and hide from predators.
They will only really emerge during the nighttime, and they can be seen scurrying across the forest floor in a zigzag pattern.
They give birth to one or three young, which the female incubates and feeds until they are ready to leave the burrow.
2. Waterhouse’s Leaf-Nosed Bat
This is a species of big-eared bat that can be found nesting in the mouths of caves or even under the rooftops of urban buildings.
They prefer the evening time and those few hours before dusk is when you will see them coming out to feed and mate.
These bats can be found across many Caribbean islands and they will often not migrate from one island to the next.
They use the process of echolocation, which is when they bounce their cries off the walls of caves to detect their shape and contours.
They use this technique to locate their prey.
3. White-Tailed Deer
This is a majestic creature that changes color during the autumn season. It appears more reddish brown in the summer, becoming gray-brown during the fall.
You’ll be able to tell the age of this deer by how gray the coat is and how long the snout is.
The males will usually develop antlers as they reach maturity, which they then use to defend themselves against other males, traditionally during mating season.
They can be found in lightly wooded areas, although they have been known to adapt to more open prairies and savannahs.
1. Dusky Shark
This is a shark that you might have seen on nature programs, with a long and slender body and a pointed, flat head.
This can reach up to 10 feet in length and weighs over 400 lbs. This species is characterized by its dorsal and pectoral fins that are shaped like sickles.
This is considered an apex predator, which means that it has no predators above it.
This shark has a very low reproductive rate, which means that it has experienced a decline in numbers due to overfishing and other human-created hunting patterns.
2. White Marlin
This is a fish that you’ll be easily able to recognize as it comes with a long sword-like nose (although this is actually a billfish, rather than a swordfish).
These fish are quite predatory and will feed on a number of smaller fish including flying fish, small tuna, dolphinfish, and squid.
Hopefully, our glossary of some of the animals that you might find in the Dominican Republic has given you a better idea of exactly how diverse and exotic this island is.
But you can keep digging, as there are thousands of other species of amazing birds, fish, mammals, and insects that you can find here.
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