Basilisk (Family: Corytophanidae, Genus: Basiliscus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons); Green Basilisk - Basiliscus Plumifrons - Museum of Natural History - Picture taken by deror avi (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Deror_avi) on 24th September 2006. (The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed.)
Genus: Basiliscus Laurenti, 1768
Basiliscus is a genus of lizards that includes the basilisks.
With mackled blue spots and a yellow iris, its length is an average of about 70 to 75 cm (28 in - 30 in). The average weight is about 80 grams (3.2 oz). Its growth is perpetual, fast when they are young and nonlinear for mature basilisks. Its long crest-like sails reinforced in three distinct points (head, back, and tail) confers the impression of creatures such as Dimetrodon and Spinosaurus. Its skin is shed in pieces.
The basilisk sometimes walks as a biped. Basilisks have the unique ability to "walk" on water and, because of this, have coined the title as "The Jesus Lizard" or "The Jesus Christ Lizard" with religious connotations to the biblical passage of Matthew 14:22-34. On water, the basilisk can run at a velocity of 1.5 meters (5 feet) a second for approximately 4.5 meters (15 feet) before sinking on all fours and swimming. Flaps between their toes help support the basilisk, creating a larger surface and a packet of air.
They are generally found in Latin America anywhere there is a body of water (usually from Central Mexico to Ecuador). Recently introduced to Florida, it has adapted to the colder winters by burrowing into the leaf litter for warmth. Current reports sight the basilisk as far north as Fort Pierce, on the state's East Coast, where small groups have crept up the North Fork of the Saint Lucie River.
Common basilisk, Basiliscus basiliscus
Red-headed basilisk, Basiliscus galeritus
Plumed basilisk, Basiliscus plumifrons
Striped or Brown Basilisk, Basiliscus vittatus
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