Astonishing photos capture a ferocious 20-minute battle between a jaguar and a yacare caiman.
The jaguar ambushed its prey on the banks of the Three Brothers River in Mato Grosso, Brazil on Tuesday.
It sunk its teeth into the caiman’s throat as the reptile thrashed in a desperate attempt to break free.
But the jaguar was too powerful and killed the caiman with a bite to the skull before dragging its prize through the undergrowth.
Caimans form a large part of a jaguar’s diet but battles as dramatic as this are rarely caught on camera.
The fight was captured by photographer Chris Brunskill. He wrote on Facebook: ‘Yesterday I photographed an incredible caiman predation by a young jaguar high up on the Rio Tres Irmaos.
‘We were on the main Rio Cuiaba when we got an early radio call reporting a jaguar had been seen near to the Corixo de Camindo and duly headed up there at top speed, arriving just after nine o’clock.
‘Over the next hour we followed the cat and watched at close range as she charged unsuccessfully on a small group of capybara.
‘Moments later she was walking through an open stretch of water when she pounced on the biggest jacare caiman I have ever seen during all my time on the river in Pantanal.
‘After a long struggle, she immobilised the giant reptile with the trademark jaguar bite to the back of the skull, and then dragged the huge carcass for over twenty minutes across an open beach into thick cover.
‘During the struggle I shot an incredible variety of pictures, almost 50GB in total, of a predation sequence I have been obsessed with since I first visited this magical place over five years ago.’
Photograph: Chris Brunskill