These incredible pictures show how a hardy little turtle managed a victory over a mighty alligator during an exhausting 15-minute battle.
The champion proved too much of a tough nut to crack after the 6ft animal tried to clamp its powerful jaws around the small reptile.
The South American alligator, pictured in the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, by wildlife photographer Patrick Castleberry, 51, spent up to 15 minutes trying to prise the turtle's shell open and enjoy a quick-fix supper.
But the Eastern River Cooter turned out to be anything but, and its shell earned him a life-saving victory in the battle, which Patrick described as "turtle one, alligator nil".
He had been there to photograph herons, but noticed the turtle versus alligator fight going on at the side of the river.
He watched while the alligator tried to crack the shell but, when it gave up, Patrick wondered over expecting the turtle to be dead.
But, according to Caters News, he said it was "quite alive and on its back. I flipped it over and it scrambled into the water".
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