13 Fastest Lizards EVER!

1 year ago
The Common Basilisk (BAS-uh-lisk) has an uncommon ability that accounts for an unusual nickname. Because this lizard from Central and South American can run on the water’s surface, it’s often referred to as the Jesus Lizard. This species of basilisk is distinguished by its large size -- some 2.5 feet long including the tail … and for the fin-like crest that sits high atop its back. And of course it’s also distinguished by that ability to run across the water, at speeds over 5 mph. When escaping from predators, the lizards will jump to the nearest edge of water and keep on sprinting until they sink. After that, they’ll continue swimming until they’ve put sufficient distance between them and their enemy. These critters have large hind feet with skin flaps around the toes that create little air pockets, allowing them to run across the water’s surface before sinking. Younger Basilisks can run farther than adults, since they weigh less. Did you know these lizards can stay underwater for around 30 minutes?

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#4 Six-Lined Racerunner (18 mph)
The name of this critter would suggest that it’s built for speed. It’s found throughout the south central portion of the United States and into northern Mexico, and belong to a species of whiptail lizards, so-named for their long tails. They tend to be energetic, hyper aware, and extremely fast moving … able to race at speeds upwards of 18 miles per hour. That makes it easy for them to dart away for cover should threats appear. They measure around 20 inches long, and tend to favor grasslands and woodland areas.

#3 Green Iguanas (22 mph)
These arboreal lizards are endemic to South and Central America, and the Caribbean … but they can be found over a wide geographic area, thanks in part to their being adopted as pets. In some areas, including Puerto Rico and Fiji, the critter is viewed as an invasive species. In the US, it is viewed as such in Florida. Like the previously mentioned Tegu Lizard, the Green Iguana seems content to make its home in South Florida … maybe it’s the nice weather and all the swimming pools. Like many exotic pets, green iguanas are sometimes released into the wild once they mature … they can weigh around 9 pounds on average, with a length of some 5.5 feet from head to tail. And they’re very fast, able to sprint at speeds up to 22 mph. Hopefully, they can use that quickness to elude hunters in Central and South America. They’ve been used as a food source for some 7,000 and are said to taste like chicken.

#2 Central Bearded Dragon (25 mph)
These creatures native to the semiarid regions of Australia can measure around 24 inches long … with their tail taking up half of their body. Skilled climbers, they can spend as much time in the trees as they do on the ground. Their name is a reference to the spiny, pouch like projection (called a gutteral pouch) underneath the neck and chin area. They’ll inflate this pouch and bob their head as a way of demonstrating their superiority to others. Overall, they tend to spend much of their day sunning themselves on rocks or exposed tree branches. When under attack, the lizard will expand its beard and open its mouth to display the yellowish membranes within. Of course if that doesn’t work, they could always choose to simply run away. These critters have been documented to run up to 25 miles per hour.

#1 Black Spiny Tailed Iguana (35 mph)
This was an easy choice for the number one position. Also known simply as the Black Iguana, it’s native to Mexico and South America, and has been introduced into the United States. And while you might get some argument from some of the other lizards on our list, the Black Iguana has been documented as the fastest running lizard species. Their name is inspired by the black scales found on their tails … and long spines stretch down the center of their back. Growing to more than 4 feet long, their appetites can be primarily herbivorous … although they tend to be insectivores when they’re younger. If cornered, they will bite and slash with their tails. But they use their speed to escape danger … and they can make a fast getaway. Guinness has documented their peak sprinting speed at nearly 35 miles per hour! Did you know that in some areas of Central America, this animal is known as the ‘chicken of the trees’? That’s a reference to their being farmed as a food source, not unlike the green iguana.

13 Fastest Lizards EVER!

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