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  • Writer's pictureJust Adventures Panama

Wildlife Photos: The Common Basilisk

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

The common basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) is a lizard found in Central and South American rainforests near rivers and streams. The basilisk is part of the corytophanid family. It is also known as the Jesus lizard, Jesus Christ lizard, or lagarto de Jesus Cristo for its ability to run on the surface of water.

On water, it runs an average speed of 8.4 km/h (or 5.2 mph), which is just a little slower than its speed on land. Younger basilisks can run 10 to 20 meters on water, while adults cross only a few meters before sinking.

Photo credits: Justo Camargo

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