Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus). Striped basilisk lizard, also known as a "Jesus Christ lizard" in the Belizian jungle. Uploaded to en-wikipedia by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Belizian on 8 February 2004, and he released it under GFDL.
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The Brown basilisk
or Striped basilisk
; in some areas referred to as "common basilisk
") is one species of basilisk
lizard. They are native to Central America, but have been introduced into the wild in the U.S. state of Florida.
Along with the Common Basilisk
they have the nickname "Jesus Lizard" because when fleeing from a predator, they are very fast and can even run on top of the water. Basilisk
s actually have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. The fact that they move quickly across the water, aided by their web-like feet, gives them the appearance of "walking on water". Smaller basilisk
s can run about 10-20 meters on the water without sinking. Young basilisk
s can usually run farther than older ones. If the animal faces danger, it starts to run very fast on the surface of a river or a lake. Then the flaps on its hind feet are opened and thus more surface area is provided for it to run on water.
Species - Basiliscus basiliscus
. Family - Iguanidae
. Location - Central and South American rainforests. Near rivers and streams. Size - 2 & 1/2 feet long including the tail. Diet - Insects, small invertebrates, flowers, and small vertebrates (like snakes, birds, and fish). They store fat in their tail. Enemies - Large birds of prey, snakes, fish, other large reptiles, and mammals. This animal is not endangered.
They are in the same infraorder as the iguana
family. Like most reptiles, basilisk
s are active during the day. They have long toes and sharp claws. Most are under a foot in length, but some may grow up to two feet. Basilisk
s usually weigh between 200-600 grams. Their maximum lifespan is probably around 7-8 years. In the wild, most die much sooner. Females lay about 2-18 eggs, five to eight times a year. Eggs hatch after about three months and the babies weigh about 2 grams. Their outstanding camouflage allows them to remain motionless and very hard to detect.
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