What I would call 'Mexican squirrels' were the many iguanas that appeared everywhere we went there. Most were content to simply 'chill out' in the sunshine. Quite a different reptile was the 'Jesus Christ lizard' in Costa Rica. The name rightly comes from its ability to walk on water. Actually, they ran at a fast pace ahead of our boat, perhaps leading the way downriver. Maybe they were simply trying to escape the cayman that lounged on the nearby riverbank. Geckos skittered along walls and floors of an outdoor restaurant in Maui, Hawaii. The largest cockroaches I'd ever seen made their appearance too. Do geckos eat cockroaches? And what was that stuff in our salad?
Dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, seals and a barracuda all made their presence known for the camera. My most memorable dolphin encounter happened when one followed alongside our boat back to shore after I had descended from a trip aloft while parasailing in Mexico. Other dolphins were found both off the Southern California coast and in Mexican waters. A barracuda was a scary surprise as I was finishing snorkeling on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. It was less interested in me than I was of him. I made a hasty retreat to the nearby dock. Killer whales followed our cruise ship on the Inland Passage of Alaska. Seals lounged the beaches of California as well as the area of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.
One of the more fascinating 'critters' on our travels was the Magellanic penguin of Puerto Arenas, Argentina. We were able to observe them at very close range. Nicknamed the 'Jackass penguin' because of their constant braying, they made their presence known with gusto. We watched them digging out their underground nests, waddling under the boardwalk where we stood and going for a swim in the chilly waters. Their small size was in no way diminished by their raucous calls to one another.
Fish of every size and color paraded before me while snorkeling in Hawaii. My best fish story ever (I have the pictures to prove it) was the fifty (yes 50) pound catfish I caught while traveling near Bangkok, Thailand. Admittedly, this was in an enclosed area, but still, fifty pounds! In Alaska it was possible to actually walk across the backs of spawning salmon in the shallow streams. With their bright red color, they were easily spotted by dining bears and eagles.