Green Basilisk lizards eat insects, rodents and runs on water

The plumed basilisk, Basiliscus plumifrons, also called a green basilisk, is a species of lizard native to Latin America. Its natural range covers a swath from Mexico to Ecuador.
Part of the iguana family, green basilisks grow to about 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length, including their long, whip-like tail.

Plumed basilisks are omnivorous and eat plant material, insects, small mammals like rodents, smaller species of lizards, fruits and flowers. Their predators include raptors, opossums and snakes.plumedbasiliskcele4_edit

Plumed basilisk males have three crests: one on the head, one on their back, and one on the tail. Part of the iguana family, green basilisks grow to about 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length, including their long, whip-like tail. Males have distinctive, high crests on their heads and backs, which they use to impress females. Males are very territorial; a single male may keep land containing a large group of females with whom he mates.

female-green-blizardThe females, however, only have one crest, on the head. The pregnant females prepare a shallow trench time in warm, damp sand or soil. where they lay up to 20 eggs. The mother then the nest. Hatchlings are born with the ability to run (on land and water), climb, and swim.

Runs on water

Abundant in the tropical rain forests of Central America, from southern Mexico to Panama, green basilisks spend much of their time in the trees and are never far from a body of water.

Green basilisk lizards can avoid danger by darting across water. They have specially designed feet and a unique running style that keeps them from sinking. When threatened, they can drop from a tree into the water and sprint, upright, about 5 feet (1.5 meters) per second across the surface.

The chart below shows body positions of the lizard that allows it to move across the water’s surface.

jeb00679f21To accomplish this, they have long toes on their rear feet with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, increasing surface area. As they rapidly churn their legs, they slap their splayed feet hard against the water, creating a tiny air pocket that keeps them from sinking, provided they maintain their speed. They can move along the surface like this for 15 feet (4.5 meters) or more. When gravity eventually does take over, the basilisk resorts to its excellent swimming skills to continue its flight. They are also excellent swimmers that can stay submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.

Excerpts courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Plumedbasilisk

Excerpts courtesy of National Geographic green-basilisk-lizard

Excerpts courtesy of Jeb.

Image 1. Male green Basilisk courtesy of Wikipedia Plumedbasilisk

Image 2. Female green basilisk ourtesy of lizard

Chart courtesy of Jeb.
October 27, 2003
Three-dimensional hindlimb kinematics of water running in the plumed basilisk lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons) – S. Tonia Hsieh
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

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