In Focus: Jesus Christ lizard
The green basilisk lizard is also known as the Jesus Christ lizard due to its astonishing ability to walk on water. When threatened it drops from a tree into a watercourse to escape a predatory snake or bird, moving its legs rapidly at 1.5m per second. Long toes and special fringes of skin on the reptile’s back feet increase the surface area to enable it to perform this miracle. The lizard can reach a distance of about 4.5m before it starts to sink but it is also a competent swimmer. Wildlife photographer Bence Máté witnessed this superstar in Santa Rita, Costa Rica, but the reptile can also be found in Honduras and Panama. The semiarboreal, omnivorous species survives on plant material, insects and fruits, and is abundant in tropical rainforests. Males have distinctive crests on their heads and backs to impress females.