Je­sus Christ lizard

This aptly named lizard can per­form mod­ern-day mir­a­cles to es­cape dan­ger

World of Animals - - Defying Gravity -

Also known as the com­mon basilisk, this lizard es­capes preda­tors by scut­tling away on wa­ter. Three of the five toes on each of its large back feet have scaly fringes that un­furl when hit­ting the wa­ter. The large sur­face area of the ex­trem­i­ties re­duces the down­ward pres­sure, al­low­ing the lizard to build up enough mo­men­tum to get mov­ing.

Walk­ing on wa­ter is a three-step process. First, the foot slaps down on the sur­face of the wa­ter. This pushes wa­ter away and cre­ates air pock­ets be­neath the foot. Next the leg strokes back­wards to pro­pel the basilisk ahead. The fi­nal stage is re­cov­ery, where the foot comes away from the wa­ter and pre­pares to slap down again. This has to hap­pen ex­tremely quickly be­fore grav­ity can catch up.

Smaller lizards typ­i­cally keep more of their body above wa­ter and travel fur­ther, run­ning up to 20 me­tres (65.6 feet) in one stretch. Older basilisks can’t run as far and of­ten re­sort to swim­ming once they sink into the wa­ter.

ABove Mea­sur­ing up to 76cm (29.9in),this rep­tile is en­demic to the rain­forests of Cen­traland South Amer­ica

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