Snake striking bird
Unless there’s some Photoshop trickery afoot here, this photo makes you want to shout, “He’s behind you!”, because you know that the cute little robin is as good as a gone. Yet there is a morbid fascination about the way we are often most keen to watch animals in their natural setting when they are busy gobbling one another up. The photos collected here add something else to the whole guzzling theme, capturing as they do creatures enjoying their last moments in this world before the jaws of death close on them forever. Been dying to say it: om nom nom nom nom nom nom.
Shark eating seal
The seal may be one of the ocean’s top predators but there’s just no contest when it comes face to face with that most deadly of sharks, the great white. The seal takes one look into those stony black eyes and turns on its flippers – but too late! Despite being over three times as long and almost ten times the weight of its mammalian prey, the great white is not nearly as agile. It must attack from below, bursting out of the water, so that there is only one way the seal can go: down into its gaping maw.
Crocodile eating mud crab
The photo above shows a mud crab that looks destined to become crab sticks being tossed into the nutcracker-like jaws of the Australian saltwater crocodile. There, it is set be put through the grinder at the back of the croc’s mouth. The saltwater crocodile is especially partial towards the mud crab, but it has to be quick, efficient and brutal or else the crafty crustacean may make its escape, or even fight back with a powerful and painful pinch of it pincer. P-ouch!
Snake and frog eating each other
It’s difficult to say who’s eating who in this snapshot of a struggle between a Morelet’s tree frog and a cat-eyed tree snake, which lasted for hours through the night in the tropical forest of Belize. Locked together in a deadly embrace, neither the kicking tree frog – who you’d have to say is quite handy – nor the stubborn tree snake showed any sign of weakening or backing down from the stalemate. In the end it was photographer David Maitland who gave in and went to bed.
Frog eat frog
If there was uncertainty in the last shot about whether the tree frog would get it, there sure isn’t here. What bites you on the nose this time is that the squealing, splashing frog is getting eaten alive by… another frog – a cannibalistic green-striped frog to be precise, and one no larger than its tree-dwelling cousin. Cannibalism is unsettling at the best of times, but when it’s in your own back garden, it’s really going to give you a shock – as it did Queensland, Australia resident Kerry Roberts. Still, it just goes to show: it’s a frog eat frog world.