The Basilisk Lizard: The Fast-Running, Endangered Water Walker

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WARTAINDONESIA EN – The basilisk lizard is one of the most unique and fascinating reptiles in the world. It is native to Central America and is known for its ability to run on water. The basilisk lizard is also known as the “Jesus Christ lizard” because of this ability.

There are four known species of basilisk lizards, including:

  • Basiliscus plumifrons (plumed basilisk)
  • Basiliscus basiliscus (green basilisk)
  • Basiliscus galeritus (common basilisk)
  • Basiliscus vittatus (lined basilisk)

The plumed basilisk is the most common and well-known species. It can be found in tropical rainforests in southern Mexico, Central America, and northern Colombia.

Physical Characteristics

The basilisk lizard has a slender, long body, with an average length of about 2 feet (60 cm). It has large, strong hind legs that are used for running on water. The basilisk also has smooth scales that help it to move quickly on water.


The basilisk lizard is an active predator. Its main diet consists of insects, but it will also eat other small animals, such as frogs and fish. The basilisk is a very agile animal and can climb trees to catch its prey.

Ability to Run on Water

The ability to run on water in basilisk lizards is the result of a combination of physical and behavioral factors. The physical factors that play a role are:

  • Large, strong hind legs that allow the basilisk to generate a lot of thrust.
  • Smooth scales that help the basilisk to move quickly on water.

The behavioral factors that play a role are:

  • The basilisk spreads its hind legs and moves them quickly. This causes the water in front of its legs to be pushed backwards, creating a jet effect.
  • The basilisk also uses its tail to help it balance.

When a basilisk runs on water, it uses its hind legs to propel itself forward. Its tail is used to balance and prevent it from falling. The basilisk also uses its front legs to help it change direction.

**The basilisk lizard can run on water at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour (19 kilometers per hour). It can run on water for distances of up to 20 feet (6 meters) before it sinks.

Endangered Species

The basilisk lizard is an endangered species. There are several factors that threaten the existence of the basilisk lizard, including:

  • Deforestation
  • Hunting
  • Illegal wildlife trade

Deforestation is one of the main factors that threatens the existence of the basilisk lizard. Deforestation causes the loss of the basilisk’s natural habitat. Hunting is also a threat to basilisks. Basilisks are often hunted for their meat or to be sold as pets. Illegal wildlife trade is also a threat to basilisks. Basilisks are often traded illegally to other countries.

To protect the existence of the basilisk lizard, conservation efforts need to be taken, including:

  • Reforestation to restore the basilisk’s habitat.
  • Raising awareness among the public about the importance of protecting basilisks.
  • Enforcing laws against hunting and illegal trade of basilisks.

These conservation efforts are important to ensure the survival of the basilisk lizard.

The basilisk lizard is a unique and fascinating creature. It is an example of how physical and behavioral adaptations can help animals survive in their environment.