Ancestor of Jesus Lizard Found

Friday, July 03, 2015

Jesus Lizard

Archaeologists have discovered a 48-million-year old fossil of ‘Jesus Lizard’ which is known so because of its ability to walk on water. The discovery has been made in the US state of Wyoming.

The find will allow them to study the evolutionary pattern of lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Modern day relatives of Jesus lizard live in tropical environments of Central Mexico and northern South America. The fossil belongs to the Eocene period which back then might have had a tropical climate. This is the first find in a group of new species, Babibasiliscus alxi and is thought to represent the earliest member of the Jesus lizard group – Corytophanidae. Not much is known about the group because of the small number of fossils available for study.

The two-foot long lizard had a fairly large cheekbone which might have helped it in hunting larger preys apart from snakes, lizards, fish, insects and plants. Modern day Jesus lizards eat everything which led to the conclusion that the ancient lizard too had the same dietary habit. 

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