Robotic systems have difficulties traversing and interacting with complex deformable terrains (i.e. sand, mud, and water). However, the basilisk lizard can transition easily from one to another. This research will investigate the active (i.e. bipedal gait) and passive (i.e. toe fringes) mechanisms that assist the animal in effectively running on water. Specifically, a fluid dynamic force platform has been designed and developed, which will directly measure the forces exerted by the animal’s feet as it runs across water. Through performing animal experiments, the research intends to find hierarchical concepts for implementing in robotic systems for complex and deformable terrains.