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The Kid Should See This

Anolis aquaticus, the scuba-diving lizard

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An air bubble clings to the head of Anolis aquaticus in this video filmed by Binghamton University ecologist and Assistant Research Professor Dr. Lindsey Swierk. The Costa-Rican water anole can stay underwater, breathing from this recycled air bubble, for 16 minutes. It’s an excellent survival skill when evading predators. Via Eurekalert:

Swierk first noticed this species when she was walking along the mountain streams in Costa Rica and observed the lizards dive under water and stay submerged for a long period of time. Further analysis of the lizards’ stomachs uncovered that they eat some insects that are mainly found under water, hinting that the species may dive under water for reasons other than just avoiding predators.

“Finding evidence suggesting that water anoles ‘breathe’ under water was serendipitous, and not part of my original research plan,” said Swierk. “I was impressed and pretty confused about the length of the dive, which gave me an itch to take a closer look with an underwater camera in the next couple of years. That’s when I saw that the anoles appeared to be rebreathing a bubble of air that covered their heads.”

Watch these related videos next:
• Nature’s Scuba Divers: How Beetles Breathe Underwater
• How does the Great Diving Beetle hunt underwater?
• The Lizard That Uses Nanotechnology to Walk Upside Down
• What does a herpetologist do with a lizard once she’s caught it?

Bonus: The Cycle: Carbon and Oxygen and You.

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