Fossil of lizard that walked on water found – The Times of India
According to recent paleontological findings, seventeen million years ago, Jesus walked on water in Wyoming and was a lizard.
Now, scientists can easily pinpoint the modern relatives of this early reptile, which lived in an area that stretches from central Mexico to northern Colombia, noting that the animal flourishes in higher temperatures around the equator.
The researchers named the lizard Babibasiliscus alexia and determined it was the oldest known member of the Corytophanidae group to which the Jesus Lizard belongs. Contrary to the group name, the group is also comprised of iguanas and chameleons. It also had large cheekbones with the help of it enjoyed larger prey items as well. Thanks to super speed and specially-designed feet, the basilisk lizard can run on water… an ability that makes it deadly to insects, and has led people to call it the “Jesus Christ Lizard” reported by National Geographic.
With such a hot and sunny climate, the lizard’s skull had evolved a ridge of bone over its eyes to give a permanent, raging scowl that doubled as shade for its eyes.
Conrad and his colleagues’ study is published for free in online journal PLoS One.
The ancient relative of a curious lizard known for walking on water may have darted around a tropical Wyoming.
Babibasilscus alxi was likely active during the day and spent a lot of time in trees. It dined on plants, snakes, fish, insects, and other lizards with its tiny but well-adapted teeth.
Fossils of various species limited to the tropics are today often found at mid to high latitudes that experience warm periods during Earth’s history.
Conrad believes the ancient lizard’s descendants and their migration south can teach us about climate change and how it will affect other tropical species. However, few fossils of these animals have ever been recovered, so many questions about the species remain in the minds of biologists.
“Given our current period of global climate fluctuation, looking to the fossil record offers an important opportunity to observe what is possible, and may give us an idea of what to expect from our dynamic Earth”, study author Jack Conrad, an assistant professor of anatomy at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in a press release.
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