The Jesus Lizard running on water
The Jesus Lizard is called that because it can indeed walk on water just like Jesus. Its real name is Basilisk and it hails from sunny Central America and is related to the Iguana.
The Jesus Lizard likes to live near water, that way, when it is frightened by an approaching predator it can get to the water and run across the surface. Their predators are: large birds, snakes, fish, other larger reptiles, and a few mammals.
The lizards can run on water because they have a fringe of scales on their hind toes which makes little webs that can trap bubbles of air and water beneath their feet. This keeps them from sinking into the water if they run quickly enough across. When they do stop running they don’t mind taking a little swim. The smaller lizards can run further than the bigger and heavier ones. Basilisks usually weigh between 200-600 grams (0.44 - 1.3 lbs) and may grow to be about 2 feet (61 cm) long although they average about 1 foot (30.5 cm) in length.
There are four species of Basilisk:
- Basiliscus basiliscus - The Common basilisk
- Basiliscus galeritus - Red-headed or Western basilisk
- Basiliscus plumifrons - Plumed basilisk
- Basiliscus vittatus - Striped or Brown Basilisk (this is the runner - "The Jesus Lizard")