Belonging to the corytophanid family, common basilisk lizard is found aplenty in the rainforests of Central America, from southern Mexico to Panama. Basilisk, as all Harry Potter fans know, is a snake in Greek Mythology that can turn a man into stone by its gaze. In the Greek language, basilisk means ‘little king’. But common basilisk is not its common name. It is more popularly known as Jesus Christ Lizard because it has the ability to run on water! Here are three interesting facts about this amazing animal.
#1 Common basilisk has super speed, light weight and special toes
Common basilisks can attain unusual speeds – up to 11 km/h on ground and 8.4 km/h on water. This super speed and light weight help the basilisk lizard to run on water. But these are not the only factors. To accomplish this astonishing feat, the Jesus Christ lizard has long toes on its rear feat along with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water and create little air pockets under the lizard’s feet to give the lizard lift.
#2 It use its ability to run on water to escape predators
When they are threatened, the basilisk lizards use this amazing ability to escape from terrestrial predators. This is why they are never far away from a body of water. Younger basilisks can run 10 to 20 meters on water, while adults cross only a few meters before sinking. They are also excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to half an hour.
#3 It can also conceal itself in leaves for long durations
The average lifespan of basilisk lizard is around 7 years in captivity but it is usually less in the wild due to predators. Common predators of this lizard include birds, reptiles and mammals. To avoid predators the common basilisk can conceal itself under leaves on the forest floor and stay motionless for a long time. When it must flee, the skill of running on water comes in handy.
Watch the Jesus Christ Lizard in action in this video
Note : The above video is not created by learnodo-newtonic and is simply an embed from other you tube channel.