Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Jesus Christ Lizard
The common Basilisk lizard is part of the Iguana Family. They have the nickname “Jesus Christ Lizard” because when fleeing from a predator, they are very fast and can even run on top of the water. Basilisks actually have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. The fact that they move quickly across the water, aided by their web-like feet, gives them the appearance of “walking on water”. Smaller basilisks can run about 10-20 meters on the water without sinking. Young basilisks can usually run farther than older ones. Like most reptiles, basilisks are active during the day. Most are under a foot in length, but some may grow up to two feet. Their outstanding camouflage allows them to remain motionless and very hard to detect.
This frame was the least fuzzy photo of him running away. I can truly confirm just how fast these guys are, as not even the lightning focus-speed of the Canon 300mm 2.8L prime could keep up! It was awesome to see them running on just 2 legs! We tried to seek them out on the rest of the trip, but only found 1 other, and we couldn't get him to run out in the open for photographic purposes.