WATCH: Lizard Filmed Breathing Underwater for the First Time Using ‘Secret Scuba System’

by Lauren Boisvert

Want to see something cool and learn something new? I present to you: an anole lizard breathing underwater using a “secret scuba system.” In a preview for the new National Geographic series “Super/Natural,” a bird goes for a lizard snack, but the lizard outsmarts the bird by diving underwater. There, the series captures a never-before-seen, life-saving skill.

The clip, courtesy of People and narrated by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, shows a hungry motmot bird scouting a meal. A lizard is sunning on a rock nearby, completely out in the open. The perfect target. The motmot goes all in, swooping down from its branch as the lizard takes off, scrambling over rocks near the edge of a river. The video can be viewed here.

It seems like there’s nowhere for the lizard to go, and the motmot dives for it. But, the anole then employs an “unbelievable escape strategy, so recently discovered it’s never been filmed before now.” It jumps into the water. The motmot bides its time, waiting for the lizard to surface. But the anole is perched on a rock underwater, where it will stay until the bird decides to leave.

Taking a look underwater, the lizard forms tiny bubbles under its scales, which migrate to its head. This creates a larger bubble around the lizard’s nose where it has a supply of air to breathe. This allows it to stay submerged for more than 18 minutes.

Lizard Uses ‘Scuba System’ To Stay Underwater and Wait Out Predator

Eventually, the motmot loses interest, and leaves without its snack. The clip shows the bubbles forming on the lizard’s body, then moving toward its head to create the larger bubble. It’s a fascinating look into lizard biology and their varied survival skills.

The “Super/Natural” docuseries is produced by James Cameron and premieres on Disney+ on September 21. The series plans to explore the secret, usually hidden abilities of wildlife, revealing how animals have senses beyond what we posess. From just this clip, it looks like it’s gearing up to be a spectacular series.

‘America’s National Parks’ Executive Producer On the Surprising Filming Experience

Another National Geographic docuseries, “America’s National Parks,” explored the amazing, majestic protected lands around the United States. Executive producer Anwar Mamon spoke with Outsider in late August about the surprises that came with filming the series in national parks.

“I’m in awe of, and some of this is in the series, of when these landscapes were protected. Some of them 100 years ago, some even more,” said Mamon. “The fact that people had the foresight to protect these lands early on is really special. And a great example of why we should conserve, and how we should go about it.”

During the three-and-a-half year process of filming “America’s National Parks,” Mamon said that’s what surprised him the most. “Some of the filming periods were over a year in the same national park,” he said. “So a lot of us, a lot of our crews, got to know national parks and their animals really intimately. Which, obviously, is an incredible experience itself. But there was still so, so much that was surprising.”