8 Land-and-water animals

Fishing spiders have eight muscular legs covered in waxy, waterproof hair to walk, glide, or row on water. Surface tension is stronger near the air-water boundary, therefore they float.

Fishing Spiders

Pygmy geckos can walk, run, and swim. These 2.7-inch lizards can swim like fishing spiders. Water-repellent skin prevents surface tension.

Pygmy Geckos

Basilisk, or Jesus, lizards can swim quickly. They can move 5 feet per second on land and 15 feet on water. When air pockets arise from their hind leg skin fringes, they don't sink.

Basilisk Lizards

Lethal fire ant stings. They float and move on the water's surface. Flood-displaced ants build a live raft. The raft's surface water tension keeps them aloft until they find a new home.

Fire Ants 

Long, spindly legs help water striders walk on water. Their water-repellent hairs avoid surface tension. Long legs help them stay afloat.

Water Striders

Freshwater snails can swim upside-down. Surface tension and water pressure create "grip " Their shells keep them aloft.

Freshwater snails

Glacier bay water shrews swim by capturing air in their foot hairs. 3-to-6.5-inch rats with water-resistant fur are excellent swimmers. Air in their fur floats them when they stop swimming.

Water shrews

Grebes are huge migratory waterbirds. They're outstanding divers and swimmers and can run on water.Couples run up to 30 feet at 22 steps per second during a mating rite.


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