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Yes, this is the famous Jesus Christ Lizard! The Green Basilisk Lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons) goes by a lot of names. The plumed basilisk, double-crested basilisk..It’s all the same, an amazing reptile with the ability to walk on water! They’re found in the tropical rainforests of Central America, from southern Mexico to Panama. You can commonly spot one in trees, never too far from water! That’s because when they’re threatened, they drop from the trees and into the water, and travel at up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) per second across the surface! Thanks to their long toes with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, they are given the ability to walk on water. It’s because they increase surface area when they uncurl their toe’s skin, and when they rapidly churn their legs and slap the water with their feet, air pockets are formed that prevent them from sinking. They can do this for up to 15 feet (4.5 meters), and once gravity begins to take over, their excellent swimming abilities help to continue their flight.
 They can get surprisingly big, the average adult measuring 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length, including their whip like tails. Males are easily distinguished, since they have high crests on their heads and backs, which are used to impress females. Once the females are…echem…Impressed.. ;) They will mate, and then the female will prepare a shallow trench where around 20 eggs are deposited. The eggs are then left alone, and hatchlings are born with the ability to run, climb, and swim! This will help them to find food for the first time.. Being omnivores, it isn’t too hard for them to find food. They’ll eat anything from plant material to insects or fruit, and even small vertebrae. Of course, in the process they need to avoid BEING eaten by any snakes or birds!
Photo Credits: Joachim S. Muller
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