What Kind of Lizard Can Walk on Water

What Kind of Lizard Can Walk on Water?

The Basilisk Lizard – native to Central and South America – can walk on water! This species has amazing adaptations that help them run across the surface of water. They also use their long tails to swim underwater. That’s why they’re known as the ‘Jesus Christ Lizard’.

These lizards can sprint on water for 15 feet before sinking. But, they need special claws and extra muscles to support their feet.

You can observe this incredible ability in certain wildlife parks or natural habitats. Make sure not to disturb the environment so these lizards can carry on with their water-walking! Be amazed by these cold-blooded creatures – they can surely rock a pair of water skis!

Lizard Species That Can Walk on Water

To learn about lizards that can walk on water, check out this section on different lizard species. You’ll discover the exciting world of common basilisk lizards, green water dragons, and western water dragons, each with their unique characteristics. Get ready to dive into the fascinating abilities of these remarkable creatures!

The Common Basilisk Lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus)

The Basiliscus basiliscus, a lizard species found in Central and South America, has an amazing talent. They can walk on water! With their large feet and skin flaps between their toes, they run across water with speed and agility. This species is commonly referred to as the Common Basilisk Lizard.

This lizard also has a crest atop their head that looks like a basilisk’s crown. Because of this, they were named after the mythological creature from ancient Greek legends. Another name given to them is the “Jesus Christ Lizard“. This is due to their ability to appear to be walking on water like Jesus did on the Sea of Galilee.

This special ability isn’t just a party trick. It’s a matter of life or death for these lizards. It helps them escape danger by fleeing into bodies of water quickly. It also means they can avoid being eaten by predators.

Researchers once observed this species’ unique skills in Costa Rica. Two male common basilisks were fighting for territory and ran across the river surface without getting wet or drowned. This inspiring event sparked more research into how these lizards balance and stay stable while crossing water.

These lizards have earned the title of “Green Water Dragon” for skipping swimming lessons and going straight to walking on water!

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The Green Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

The Western Water Dragon, or Physignathus cocincinus, is a unique reptile native to Southeast Asia. It’s known for its ability to walk on water, due to its fringed toes and muscular tail. Not only can it walk, but it’s also a skilled climber and swimmer.

Found near rivers and lakes, they mainly eat insects, small mammals, and aquatic creatures. They’re also quite popular in the pet trade, thanks to their striking green color and relatively docile nature when bred in captivity.

However, they require special care, with adequate space for climbing and swimming, as well as regulated temperatures and humidity levels. A varied diet of live prey is also necessary to keep them healthy. With proper care, these amazing creatures can thrive in captivity just as well as in the wild.

The Western Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii)

The Western Water Dragon is quite the unique critter! Its scientific name, Physignathus lesueurii, is a tip-off to its special abilities. It’s native to eastern Australia and loves living near freshwater streams and ponds.

It can reach up to 1 meter in length and weigh about 600 grams. The Western Water Dragon has a flat head, long tail, and strong legs. Plus, it can even ‘walk on water’ with its hind legs!

What’s more, this species can change its colour too – from brown to green depending on the environment. Male Water Dragons usually have brighter markings than females.

If you’d like to observe them closely, go slow as they tend to be skittish. Don’t disturb their habitats or try to catch them. They’re protected by law in Australia and must not be kept as pets.

How Do They Walk on Water?

To learn more about how lizards walk on water, let’s dive into the science behind it all. In order to understand this phenomenon, we will explore the physics behind walking on water as well as the role of surface tension. Additionally, we’ll take a closer look at the specific anatomy of these lizards so that we can better understand how it all comes together.

The Physics Behind Walking on Water

Water molecules bind together through hydrogen bonding, creating surface tension that’s strong enough to support even small objects. Some organisms take it one step further, and can actually walk on the water’s surface.

Geckos and basilisk lizards use their unique body structures to do this. They have extra skin flaps and webbing between their toes, which creates added lift and propulsion when they run on the water.

Pro Tip: Temperature affects surface tension. So if you want to try walking on water, go for cooler temperatures!

The Role of Surface Tension

Water-walking, also known as hydroplaning, is a remarkable phenomenon seen in insects and animals. It’s amazing to observe how they can stay on top of the water without sinking or breaking the surface tension. Surface tension makes this possible by providing a barrier between air and water molecules.

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Molecules at the surface experience more force from their neighbors than those inside. This means that the cohesive force between water molecules is stronger than the adhesive force between air and water molecules. This imbalance in forces creates surface tension, which helps spread out the weight of the insect’s legs.

Water-striding insects benefit from this by having long, slim legs to distribute their weight over a larger area. Some species add a waxy coating on their legs’ bottom for more surface area-to-weight ratio. They also use quick leg movements and special foot pads for a quick walk on waves.

Not all insects can do this. Species with bigger bodies and non-proportional legs can’t spread their weight out enough to keep themselves on the surface.

If you want to try walking on water, try using shoes with wide surfaces, like snowshoes. Or, stand flatly on your toes and move your feet rapidly. However, human densities are higher than that of insects, so chances are you won’t be able to stay afloat for long!

The Specific Anatomy of These Lizards

Lizards have a special way to move on water! This is thanks to their unique anatomy. These features help them walk on water without sinking or losing balance.

Scientists have studied this phenomenon in detail. They made a table with three columns: Anatomy, Location, and Adaptations. Lizards have long toes with small webbed feet. They live near still waters like ponds, swamps and wetlands. They also flatten their bodies and have strong legs to push against the water surface.

The most impressive thing about these lizards is their “whipping motion”. This propels them forward at high speed. Plus, they can rotate their tails to keep their balance.

There was a true story about Basilisk lizards in Costa Rica. The scientists found out that these lizards can run over 5 feet on water without sinking! This helps them escape predators.

So why not get an amazing lifeguard lizard?!

Other Interesting Facts About Lizards That Can Walk on Water

To learn more about lizards who can walk on water, you’re about to discover some interesting facts about their habitat and distribution, diet and predators, and how they reproduce. These sub-sections will shed light on the distinct characteristics and behaviors of this unique kind of lizard.

Their Habitat and Distribution

These water-walking lizards inhabit many places from forests to deserts. Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas all have them. They love warm climates and live near water sources.

Their webbed feet are like paddles – they use them to swim and glide. Their tails help them balance on water surfaces. Some species can even hold their breath under for 16 minutes!

Besides water, these lizards can climb trees and scale walls with their suction-cup toes. They’re small and not dangerous to humans, but they escape quickly due to their speed and agility.

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Seeing these amazing creatures is a true sight. Don’t miss the chance to watch them in action! Plus, they eat insects, fish, and even unwary swimmers.

Their Diet and Predators

These lizards can walk on water and have unique predators and diets. To understand this better, there’s a table with the food chain and natural predators for each species.

Lizard SpeciesDietPredators
1Insects and FishBirds, Snakes and Cats
2Small Fish and InsectsSnakes, Foxes and Birds
3Aquatic Plants and InsectsSnakes and Birds

Aside from their water-walking ability, these lizards vary in size. Some measure just a few inches, while others can reach six feet!

Studies show some lizards have learning intelligence similar to mammals, like dogs. An example is the chameleon habronattus which has social behaviour rarely seen in reptiles. It’s said love is in the air – but for water-walking lizards, it’s more about love on the water’s surface!

How They Reproduce

Lizards That Can Walk on Water – Reproduction

These special lizards mate differently! Males mate with multiple females and fiercely guard their mating area. Female lizards lay their eggs near the water. They usually hatch after a month.

How They Reproduce
Mating HabitsMales mate with many females & defend their territory.
Egg LayingFemales lay eggs by the water, which hatch in a month.

It’s important to remember that some species’ reproduction needs specific conditions. Like humidity levels or rainfall.

Walking lizards are known for their special talents. Did you also know ancient Chinese cultures used them medicinally? They believed the lizards could cure any ailment. Even their blood was said to help heal wounds fast.

Who needs a boat when water-walking lizards exist?

Conclusion: The Fascinating World of Lizards That Can Walk on Water

Lizards astound us as they walk on water. A plethora of species, such as the basilisk, gecko, and anole lizards, have this amazing skill. These creatures are able to stay afloat by using webbed feet, slapping their bodies to create air pockets, or a combination of speed and surface tension. Plus, some lizards have adhesive toe pads that help them stick to wet surfaces. It is truly incredible how they swim and defy gravity!

With so many types of water-walking lizards out there, let’s take a closer look. Don’t miss out on discovering the fascinating aquatic lizards. Explore nature and see how these reptiles masterfully traverse oceans.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of lizard can walk on water?

The common name for this lizard is the Jesus Christ lizard or the basilisk lizard.

2. Can all species of basilisk lizards walk on water?

No, only some species of basilisk lizards have the ability to run on water due to their long toes and fringes of skin on their hind feet.

3. How do basilisk lizards walk on water?

They use their strong hind legs and webbed feet to run across the surface of the water, utilizing surface tension.

4. Why are they called Jesus Christ lizards?

They got this name because of their ability to walk on water similar to the story of Jesus Christ walking on water in the Bible.

5. What do Jesus Christ lizards eat?

They mostly eat insects and small animals like spiders, crickets, and small lizards.

6. Where can I find Jesus Christ lizards?

They are native to Central and South America and can be found in rainforests, near streams, and in tropical areas.