Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Jesus Christ Lizard




I was amazed when I found this video at You Tube from National Geographic.It is basilisk lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons), a skittish tree-dwelling species found in Central America.According to article written John Roach for National Geographic News the Jesus lizards, or basilisk lisards, accomplish the seemingly miraculous act of moving on top of water by generating forces with their feet that keep their bodies both above the surface and upright, according to Shi-Tong Tonia Hsieh. Hsieh is a graduate student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University in Massachusetts.

The lizards range in size from less than 0.01 ounces (2 grams) upon hatching to more than 7 ounces (200 grams) as adults. Throughout their size range, they can run across water on their hind limbs at about 5 feet (1.5 meters) a second for a distance of approximately 15 feet (4.5 meters) before they sink to all fours and swim. The lizard is often called the Jesus Christ lizard in Central America because of its seeming ability to walk on water.