Slow-motion footage reveals lizards 'walking on water'

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London, October 14 (ANI): Remarkable slow-motion footage has revealed two lizards walking on water, which is a seemingly impossible feat.

According to a report by BBC News, a high-definition film, shot at 2,000 frames per second, shows a brown basilisk lizard running across the surface of a pond in Belize.

More footage shows how a species of gecko is so tiny that it can walk across a puddle without breaking the water's surface tension.

These amazing feats are captured for the BBC natural history series Life.

The group of animals known as basilisk lizards commonly lives along the edge of rivers running through rainforests, eating small insects among the foliage.

Because they run so fast they create a bubble as their feet hit the water and then they push off from this bubble before it bursts.

The lizards need to bask in the sun to warm up each day, which leaves them vulnerable to being caught by predators, such as large birds of prey hunting from the air, or carnivores such as cats living on the jungle floor.

So, the lizards have evolved an extraordinary escape mechanism.

They drop into the water and then run across it, earning the lizards their nickname, the "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" lizard.

Exactly how they do so is revealed by the slow-motion, high-definition footage taken at 2,000 frames per second.

"Because they run so fast they create a bubble as their feet hit the water and then they push off from this bubble before it bursts," said Simon Blakeney, a producer on the Life series who helped direct and film the footage of both reptiles.

"They can only run at that speed. If they were going any slower, for example, they wouldn't stay upright, they would slip into the water and would have to swim," he added.

Blakeney and his colleagues filmed brown basilisk lizardsrunning across ponds and rivers in the rainforest in Belize, around 60km from Belize City.

The lizard has long thin toes that are covered by scales underfoot. These help create the air bubbles that enable the lizard to push off and walk across the water.

Scientists had also previously established that basilisk lizards produce massive sideways forces in their running stride, which, perversely, help them stay upright.

Slowing the action of the film to 1/80th of its real-life speed reveals the true spectacle, according to Blakeney.

"As the water lifts up it makes this incredible trail of splashes behind it, like a pebble dropping into the water," he said. (ANI)

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