Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plumed Basilisk

Male Plumed Basilisk
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Sauropsida
Order : Squamata
Family : Corytophanidae
Genus : Basiliscus
Species : plumifrons

Length : 2-3ft (.6-1m)
Weight : 7oz (200g)

IUCN status : Not Listed

In its native lands in Central America, the Plumed Basilisk is sometimes referred to as the 'Jesus Christ Lizard.' Why? Because for a short amount of time, these striking green lizards are able to walk across water. This interesting feat is accomplished with help from their gigantic toes. As the lizard runs, it's long feet spread out, increasing the surface area, and when they slap their feet down it creates small air pockets that prevent them from sinking. Of course, the Plumed Basilisk cannot walk on water forever, they can only move about 15ft (4.5m).

Plumed Basilisks are also exceptional swimmers. They can stay underwater for a half hour or more! They are an omnivorous species, and eat mostly insects, plants, and small vertebrates.

The Plumed Basilisk is also known as the Green Basilisk and the Double Crested Basilisk. Both of these monikers refer to their appearance; they are bright green in color with small blueish spots, and males possess crests on their head and back. Females have crests on their heads only.

Females lay up to 20 eggs, which are not looked after by either parent. Young hatchlings are able to swim and run (on water!) right away.


1 comment:

  1. these guys are so cool! I saw them in Costa Rica and loved watching them.


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