This Anole Lizard Has Its Own “Protective” Bubbles, But With a Twist


We know of all kinds of small creatures that have conquered the underwater world. Fish can breathe in water. So can hard-skinned crabs and muddy frogs. But lizards?…Those slimy, small creatures that have trouble keeping even their own tails intact? You might be wondering, how could they possibly survive in water? But this particular species of lizard has a surprise for you, my friend.

This Anole Lizard Has Its Own “Protective” Bubbles, But With a Twist
Wikimedia Commons / Paul Hirst (Phirst)

The anole lizard or simply the anole, found predominantly in Costa Rica along with other tropical areas of America, is nature’s own tiny scuba diver. While anoles typically live in trees and sleep at the ends of branches, they are considered to be semi-aquatic creatures because of their ability to dive into water and stay there to protect themselves from predators. But how adaptive is this behavior? Would you jump in the middle of the sea if you didn’t have an oxygen tank? I guess researcher Chris Boccia had the same doubts because in 2017, he started testing six species of semi-aquatic anoles, only to make an amazing discovery.

This Anole Lizard Has Its Own “Protective” Bubbles, But With a Twist
Wikimedia Commons / Bernard Spragg. NZ 

This lizard, when forced to dive underwater, can blow a bubble of oxygen which clings to its water-repellant skin and allows it to breathe inside water for up to 18 minutes. That’s a lot for a reptile that’ll probably die if stepped on. These bubbles act as makeshift gills, and in scuba-diving terms, they have been dubbed ‘rebreathers’. A rebreather is a device that gives divers greater scope for staying underwater by recycling exhaled air and breathing the previously-unused oxygen from it. That is exactly how this lizard does things too. I wonder if it somehow knows about human technology? o_0 

According to scientists, these bubbles can be defined, in layman’s terms, as scuba tanks- giving the creature an additional oxygen supply aside from the air in its lungs. They further make use of the air from the lizard’s windpipe, mouth, and nasal passages, and get rid of the carbon dioxide produced in the process. What more proof would we need to say that an anole lizard has better survival skills that I do?

Watch this video to see this cool natural mechanism in action-

It is pretty amazing how even the weakest of the creatures manage to find ways and techniques that are so smart- all in order to survive. And finally, in the immortal words of Kid Danger that will one day become the anole lizard’s catchphrase-

“I’m gonna blow a bubble, then I’m gonna blow your mind.”

If you liked reading this, you will love: How Venomous Do You Think This Animal Spit Can Be?


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