Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Pic of the Day: This lizard can run on water

August 23, 2019

The “Jurassic Park” books (and ostensibly the movies) were set in Costa Rica, and we can understand why.

On a hike near Drake Bay, we spotted this positively dinosaurian reptile sunning itself on a rock. It glared at us before scurrying into the forest.

This lizard is a common basilisk, but its behavior is anything but normal. Known as a “Jesus Christ lizard” or “Jesus lizard,” this species can literally run on water.

Costa Rica is also home to the green basilisk, as seen here at Cahuita National Park in Limón:

I spy with my little eye... Kristel Segeren / The Tico Times

We’ll let National Geographic take it from here:

Abundant in the tropical rain forests of Central America, from southern Mexico to Panama, green basilisks spend much of their time in the trees and are never far from a body of water. When threatened, they can drop from a tree into the water and sprint, upright, about 5 feet per second across the surface.

To accomplish this, they have long toes on their rear feet with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, increasing surface area. As they rapidly churn their legs, they slap their splayed feet hard against the water, creating a tiny air pocket that keeps them from sinking, provided they maintain their speed. They can move along the surface like this for 15 feet or more. When gravity eventually does take over, the basilisk resorts to its excellent swimming skills to continue its flight.

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area
Costa Rica
4820 views
Costa Rica
4820 views

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Friday announced a series of health measures to limit mobility in the Greater Metropolitan Area, which…

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020
Costa Rica
21285 views
Costa Rica
21285 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 360 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,845 cumulative known cases, the Health…

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus
Costa Rica
4752 views
Costa Rica
4752 views

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus

The Tico Times - July 10, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…