For the most part, lizard is known to be brilliant swimmers, but just like other animals, not all the species of lizard are ability to swim.

A prime example of a lizard which can swim is the Chinese water dragon, they are thought to be quicker in the water than they are on-land. This species also using their ability to swim and hold their breath as a survival mechanism. If nervous of a nearby movement, the Chinese water dragon will jump and plummet to the bottom of the water until they feel it is safe to resurface.

Large lizards are also great swimmers too, water monitors primarily live in the water and find it much easier to navigate using swimming as transportation. The water monitor can weigh as much as a human in some cases, so the up thrust from the water gives their joints relief.

With such a large array of different species which adapt to their individual climates and environment, it is more often lizards that live in tropical areas that are most likely strong swimmers.

How Lizards Swim

This is where things get more interesting, you would think that their feet are the most obvious and that is true but not for all lizards. Again, referring to the Chinese water dragon and monitor lizard, they swim using their tail as a rudder and it propels them. 

The marine iguana is possibly the most impressive swimmer in the world of lizards, not only do they swim against the sea current but because their food source is on the seabed, they must swim to the bottom and hold their breathe for long periods of time.

Bearded dragons are another great example of exception swimming lizard. they rarely do swim, but a bearded dragon pet would be happy to swim. Always ensure they have an easy to reach point where your pet bearded can get onto dry land.

Not one lizard is able to breathe underwater, as they do not have gills, lizards are similar to humans and hold their breathe for periods of time, but some swimming lizards are more genetically tailored to underwater swimming.

How Chameleons Swim

The best method of how any lizard chooses to swim is the chameleon, they have come up with a unique way of avoiding drowning in water. They inhale air and puff up so much they simply float on top of the water, then use their legs as paddles, a chameleon does actually turn itself into a lizard boat!

There are numerous reasons a chameleon will come into contact with water, one is falling or mistakenly slipping, second and more frequent is in search of a nearby female that’s scent is come across open water.


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