This large species is similar to the American crocodile. The body is made up of scales (scutes) that vary in shape and strength. Orinoco crocodiles can be identified by the arrangement of dorsal (back) armor with six prominent scales on the back of the neck. Osteoderms (bony deposits within each scale) are rough in texture and are often different in color. Orinoco crocodiles have no osteoderms on their light colored belly, Another identifying feature of the Orinoco crocodile is the narrow snout which slopes upward near the tip. The nostrils are set at the end to allow breathing while mostly submerged. The tongue is wide and attached to the bottom of the mouth and does not aid in the capturing of prey. Their body color varies from gray-green, tan, to gray scattered with dark green. The legs are short and strong; the long tail is quite powerful.
The 83 species of barbets are stocky woodpecker relatives found in Africa, Asia and the New World Tropics. The New World species are likely ancestral to the toucans. Found only in Costa Rica and Panama, this species has always been extremely rare in captivity. The specimens at the DWA were obtained through special permits from the Government of Panama.
This bird has one of the smallest ranges of any toucan along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and a small portion of Panama. It is not rare there, but has hardly ever been seen in captivity. Through special permits from the Government of Panama, the DWA received several birds, and the world's first captive breeding took place in Dallas in 2008.