Average lifespan in captivity: Up to 10 years
Size: 2 to 2.5 ft (61 to 76 cm) including the tail
Weight: Up to 7 oz (200 g)
Did you know? Basilisk lizards are excellent swimmers and are capable of remaining underwater for up to 30 minutes.
The Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) is a lizard found in Central and South American rainforests near rivers and streams.The basilisk is part of the corytophanid family. It is also known as the Jesus Lizard, Jesus Christ Lizard , Lagarto de Jesus Cristo or the Jebus Lizard for its ability to run on the surface of water.
What is a basilisk?
They are truly not appealing to look at and that is one of the reasons the basilisk was so feared. According to ancient mythology, in fact, the basilisk was considered the most deadly of creatures. It could simply look at another animal, the legend goes, and the animal would drop dead. It was also believed that the basilisk could breathe on an animal, and its foul breath was so lethal that it can have the same effect as a poisonous gas. However, none of this has been proven true. In reality, when the basilisk doesn't like a predator, it darts off running and gets out of harm's way.
How did the Basilisk get its name?
The Common Basilisk is named for the creature of Greek mythology made up of parts of a rooster, snake, and lion which could turn a man to stone by its gaze: the Basilisk. Its generic, specific and common names all derive from the Greek basilískos meaning "little king".
What is special about the Basilisk?
The Common basilisk, can gather sufficient momentum to run across the water for a brief distance while holding most of their body out of the water.
To accomplish this, they have long toes on their rear feet with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, increasing surface area. As they rapidly churn their legs, they slap their splayed feet hard against the water, creating a tiny air pocket that keeps them from sinking, provided they maintain their speed. They can move along the surface like this for 15 feet (4.5 meters) or more. When gravity eventually does take over, the basilisk resorts to its excellent swimming skills to continue its flight.
What does the Basilisk look like?
The lizard is generally green in color, but can adjust its hue to many different colors. Some grow as long as three feet. One of their several distinguishing features are their eyes. They seem to protrude from the animal's head. The basilisk also has a large crest on its forehead with a mark that look like the crest on the back of a shark protruding from the ocean surface. When the animal feels threatened, or if you make it angry, the basilisk raises its head and its bottom jaw opens up. Yes, the breath the animal lets off is foul, and the display it puts on often frightens off any creature that crosses its path. However, the fact remains that the basilisk isn't incredibly harmful to more powerful creatures.
The basilisk has long legs and huge toes and, like dinosaurs, can run on two legs. Also similar to dinosaurs, when basilisks run away, they often shoot their tails horizontally in the air.
What do Basilisks eat?
Basilisks are omnivores, surviving on a diet of plant material, insects, fruit, and small vertebrates. They are common throughout their range and have no special status, but abundant natural predators like snakes and birds keep these amazing lizards on their toes.
Download free Basilisk wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Basilisk wallpaper 1
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Basilisk Coloring pages
Print free Basilisk coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.