- Residents of colonial Cuba could be punished for insulting the Cuban Trogon, a red-breasted bird whose plumage was seen as representing the red sash worn by Spanish kings.
- Ackee with salt fish is Jamaica’s national dish, but the fruit can be highly poisonous if harvested or cooked incorrectly
- The earliest attempt to import breadfruit into the Caribbean was thwarted by a famous mutiny — the one on the H.M.S. Bounty, which was carrying the seedlings among its cargo.
- You can tell which way the wind blows on a given island by looking at the coconut palm trees, which often leans in the direction of the prevailing breeze.
- The Caribbean is home to dozens of species of bats, about half of which are endemic to the islands.
- The Red Junglefowl found in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Grenadines is actually the feral offspring of formerly domesticated roosters and chickens.
- Crocodiles are native to Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
- Barracudas have been known to attack divers wearing sparkly clothing, which they can mistake for prey.
- The black grouper can grow to four feet long and change its sex from female to male.
- The Caribbean spiny lobster can swim backwards by flipping its tail.
Whether you are traveling to the Caribbean by plane or by cruise ship, make sure you pack a copy of Wildlife of the Caribbean by Herbert A. Raffaele and James W. Wiley so you can learn more about the birds, fish, mammals, and plants you might see.
Credit — these fun facts were included in About.com Caribbean Travel’s review of Wildlife of the Caribbean.