Basilisks are eight-legged reptilians that generally measure around 13 feet in length (about the same length as crocodiles), and most weigh around 300 pounds. Their eyes might hold a green glow, and their scales can adapt to the dominant colors of their habitat.
Habitat and ecology
No one is quite sure of the basilisk's origins. Folk tales claim that, like the cockatrice, basilisks hatched from snake eggs incubated by roosters. There is little real support for this claim, and their interactions with their environment makes it seem like they might be natural creatures. Basilisks prefer to devour the nutrients from those they turn to stone. This process is slow and ineffective, which makes basilisks generally seem lazy and sluggish. They make hissing noises as they move, and a low gurgle when they become agitated.
Basilisks seek caves, burrows, and other well-sheltered areas for lairs, and dwell in nearly any environment above water. Basilisks are normally solitary creatures, and typically form groups only to reproduce with a mate around clutches of eggs. However, some reportedly congregate in massive numbers periodically for unknown reasons.
A basilisk can slow, and permanently petrify, their prey with a mere look. Only weasels and ferrets are known to be inherently immune to a basilisk's petrifying gaze, and they often sneak into basilisk lairs to eat their eggs and newborn offspring.
Legends suggest basilisk blood can transmute stones into other kinds of materials, although this might be the result of confusion around the restorative properties of coating a petrified creature with fresh basilisk blood.
- Basilisk (real-world mythical creature) on Wikipedia