The basilisk has flaps of skin between it’s toes that trap air and also create a larger surface area, allowing the lizard to run across the top of the water for some distance before it sinks in and swims. They make use of their low weight per are touching the surface (thanks to the increased surface area of their feet) and the surface tension of the water to avoid falling in. Think of it as snow-shoeing on water.
Green Basilisk lizards, also known as a double-crested basilisk, can run a short distance over water. They are able to run over water because their back feet have fringes of skin between the toes that can unfold in the water, which increases the surface area and traps air, this keeps them from sinking. To achieve this the Basilisk lizards run about 5 feet per second, they can run across the water for about 15 feet, as along as they maintain their speed. After about 15 feet the lizard swims, they are excellent swimmers and can remain submerged for about 30 minutes.
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