A study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that the Babibasiliscus alxi, an ancient lizard that could run across water and lived some 50 million years ago actually thrived in Wyoming during the Eocene Epoch period.
Its ability to run a short distance on water before sinking also gave the Babibasiliscus alxi its second name – Jesus lizard.
It was a tropical casquehead lizard that lived in Wyoming when it was much warmer at about 8 degrees Celsius than it is today – enabling it to support a rainforest ecosystem.
According to paleontologist Jack Conrad of the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Babibasiliscus was a member of the Corytophanidae family, and much similar to the modern genus Laemanctus – most of which are limited to Central and South America, together with corytophanids.
Scientists believe the Babibasiliscus must have moved farther up north back in those days than can be presently seen today, and this is largely because the cold temperature that came on the heels of the Eucene period limited their distribution to the tropical equatorial regions.
Conrad maintained that based on the features observed from the fossil of the extinct lizard, scientists could easily estimate how it lived its life with a possible outlook on what to still obtain from our Earth which continues to yield new species and new paleontological knowledge every day.