BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 14036

Basilisk lizard runs across the surface of water

Basilisk lizard runs across the surface of water
Key Info
  • Basilisk lizard runs across the surface of water
  • Duration: 01:59
  • The basilisk lizard has earned the nickname 'Jesus lizard' for its seemingly miraculous ability to 'walk' on water. These lizards are commonly found living near rainforest rivers and streams, foraging for small insects. However, as cold blooded animals they need to bask in the sun to warm up each day, which leaves them vulnerable to attack from hunting birds. Instead of running for cover in the trees, the basilisk jumps into the river and uses its strong back legs and long-toed feet to sprint over the surface of the water, never sinking further than a few inches below the surface. A human would need to run at 65 mph to replicate this feat. First broadcast in the series 'Life' in 2009.
  • Subject:



    Bio: Animal Behaviour

  • Keywords: David Attenborough, Attenborough, Reptiles, Amphibians, evasion, survival, surprise, surface tension
Ideas for use in class
  • Could be used to stimulate a discussion on animal adaptations or to discuss forces in a physics lesson (upthrust vs weight).
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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