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Common Basilisk Basiliscus basiliscus

Found: Costa Rica to northwest South America
Males have a tail dorsal crest.

The Basilisk is an iguana lizard and named after the Male Basilisks grow up to 2 feet (60.96cm) in length including their long tapering tail, while females are slightly smaller. The adult male has the splendid crest of skin on the head and down the back, it attains this as it reaches maturity whereas neither young Basilisks nor the females have such a feature.

Although the rear legs, attached to long legs, look like those of a frog, they are not webbed. The Basilisk can however run on water, giving rise in South America of one of its alternative names, the Jesus Christo lizard .

The habitat of the Basilisks is among shrubs and trees with water nearby. The water provides an escape route for flight if the Basilisk is disturbed. It will either head for the bottom waiting until the danger has passed, or run over the surface of the water with its body semi-erect.

Basilisks eat plants and insects and unlike deadly original serpent basilisk which could simply kill by its glance, the Basilisk iguana is harmless.

Breeding: The common Basilisk female digs a hole about 3 inches (7.62cm) deep into which she lays her clutch of around a dozen eggs which are then covered with soil and leaves. They remain there for around 3 months by which time the young basilisk is ready to cut their way out of the shell using their egg-tooth, emerging after a rather lengthy process; which can take a few hours, about 3 inches long (7.62cm).