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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Jesus Christ Lizard - Run on Water

The Green Basilisk lizard is also called a plumed or double-crested basilisk; but its amazing ability to run on water gives this species its most recognizable moniker: the Jesus Christ lizard.

It has a seemingly miraculous ability to scurry across liquid, apparently at odds with the usual laws of physics.

How they do it?

To accomplish this, they have long toes on their rear feet with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, increasing surface area. As they rapidly churn their legs, they slap their splayed feet hard against the water, creating a tiny air pocket that keeps them from sinking, provided they maintain their speed. They can move along the surface like this for 15 feet (4.5 meters) or more. When gravity eventually does take over, the basilisk resorts to its excellent swimming skills to continue its flight.



Basilisk lizards are excellent swimmers and are capable of remaining underwater for up to 30 minutes.


Part of the iguana family, green basilisks grow to about 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length, including their long, whip-like tail. Males have distinctive, high crests on their heads and backs, which they use to impress females.



Don't believe it? See for yourself...


2 comments:

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