Corytophanidae is a family of lizards also called casque head lizards or helmeted lizards. They typically have well-developed head crests in the shape of a casque. This crest is a sexually dimorphic characteristic in males of Basiliscus, but is present in both sexes of Corytophanes and Laemanctus (Pough et al. 2003). In Corytophanes, these crests are used in defensive displays where the lateral aspect of the body is brought about to face a potential predator in an effort to look bigger (Pough et al. 2003). There are 9 known species of casque heads from 3 genera.
Casque heads are moderately sized forest-dwelling lizards with laterally compressed bodies. They are found from Mexico, through Central America, and as far south as Ecuador. Unlike many of their close relatives, they are unable to break off their tails when captured, probably because the tail is essential as a counterbalance during rapid movement. Despite the small size of the group, it includes both egg-laying species and some that give birth to live young.
* Genus Basiliscus
1. ^ a b Bauer, Aaron M. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 134–136. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
Pough FH, Andrews RM, Cadle JE, Crump ML, Savitsky AH, Wells KD. 2003. Herpetology, 3rd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. pp. 129.
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