Dragons Walking On Water

Ξ January 1st, 2008 | → | ∇ Mysteries |

Male Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) or Jesus Christ Lizard
Permission to use the photo by Hopkins Holesale Herps is gratefully acknowledhed
   Why would a lizard that looks like a fantasy dragon have a nickname of "Jesus Christ Lizard" or "Jesus Lizard?" I just had to find the answer to this question.
   Basiliscus or Basilisk is a lizard that lives in the rain forests near the waterways in Central and South America. This scary "dragon" lives on flowers, insects and small vertebrates like snakes, birds and fish.
   As he lays and sun bathes on a rock he has to be aware of the predators around him. He would make a good dinner for a large snake, large birds, mammals and even other reptiles.
    Up to eight times a year females lay 2-18 eggs, which hatch after about three months. The young ones have an outstanding camouflage ability which allows them to remain undetected. They are born with long toes,sharp claws, and their head is adorned with both a crest and a colored dewelop.
   Now back to this creatures nickname "The Jesus Lizard."
   When this lizard becomes scared and starts to flee from a predator, it reaches enough speed and momentum to run on top of water for a brief distance.
   The way Basilisks can run on water is their large hind feet which has flaps of skin between each toe. The webbing is rolled up when there is no danger, but if the basilisk senses danger, it opens this webbing to increase the surface area on the water relative to its weight, thus allowing it to run on water for short distances.
   Hence the nickname, like Jesus, they all so walk on water.


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