Amazing images show the moment an adult alligator CANNIBALISES a younger reptile

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Shocking images show the moment a huge alligator devours a younger rival in a brazen act of cannibalism.

Photographer Brad Streets, 31, captured the frightening scene in a Texas swamp after he spotted guts floating in the murky waters.

His snaps show the large freshwater American alligator thrashing around with its prey clamped tightly in its jaws and slamming the carcass into the water.

The species is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with even family members eating one another to cut down competition for food and territory.

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Shocking images show the moment a huge alligator devours a younger rival in a brazen act of cannibalism. Photographer Brad Streets, 31, captured the frightening scene in a Texas swamp after he spotted guts floating in the murky waters 

Shocking images show the moment a huge alligator devours a younger rival in a brazen act of cannibalism. Photographer Brad Streets, 31, captured the frightening scene in a Texas swamp after he spotted guts floating in the murky waters 

Shocking images show the moment a huge alligator devours a younger rival in a brazen act of cannibalism. Photographer Brad Streets, 31, captured the frightening scene in a Texas swamp after he spotted guts floating in the murky waters 

Researchers say as many as one in 16 of the species’ young fall victim to the jaws of larger adults.

Mr Streets snapped an example of the brutal practice at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas.

He said he initially thought the huge reptile’s victim was a bird, before quickly realising it was a far smaller alligator.

‘I wasn’t sure what was going on at first, I saw a gut pile floating by the large alligator so I stopped to observe,’ Mr Streets said.

‘It wasn’t until about an hour later that I finally got to glance at it and saw that it was in fact another much smaller alligator in its mouth.

‘I was very excited to be seeing nature at work in this way.’

His snaps show the large freshwater American alligator thrashing around with its prey clamped tightly in its jaws and slamming the carcass into the water 

His snaps show the large freshwater American alligator thrashing around with its prey clamped tightly in its jaws and slamming the carcass into the water 

His snaps show the large freshwater American alligator thrashing around with its prey clamped tightly in its jaws and slamming the carcass into the water 

HOW COMMON IS CANNIBALISM IS ALLIGATORS? 

While cannibalism is rare in the animal kingdom, it is a common practice among the freshwater American alligator.

The species is found in ponds, swamps and marshes across America’s southern states, including Texas, South Carolina and Florida.


It is an apex predator, and may use cannibalism to keep its own numbers down and cut competition for food and resources, according to scientists.

Research conducted in Florida between 1981 and 1987 found fifty-six tagged baby alligators in the stomachs of 267 adults.

More than ninety per cent of the eaten young were under three years old.

The species is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with even family members eating one another to cut down competition for food and territory 

The species is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with even family members eating one another to cut down competition for food and territory 

The species is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with even family members eating one another to cut down competition for food and territory 


The images were snapped at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas

The images were snapped at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas

The images were snapped at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas

The photographer used a Canon 7D Mark II equipped with a Sigma 150-600mm lens.

He believes the older reptile was potentially devouring its own young.

‘I was blown away by what I saw in its mouth as I did not know alligators cannibalised smaller ones,’ Streets said. 

Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) suggest the act could be a form of natural population control.

Cannibalism could help the apex predators keep numbers down and cut competition for resources.

Research conducted in Florida between 1981 and 1987 found fifty-six tagged baby alligators in the stomachs of 267 adults.

More than ninety per cent of the eaten young were under three years old.

Gary Morse, an officer at the FFWCC,  told Fox 13 in Tampa that cannibalism is ‘typical alligator behaviour.’

‘What alligators will typically do is they’ll take that animal and stuff it some place for a week or two until it gets nice and soft and they can tear it apart.’

The freshwater American alligator is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with family members often eating one another in what scientists believe is an act of 'natural population control'

The freshwater American alligator is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with family members often eating one another in what scientists believe is an act of 'natural population control'

The freshwater American alligator is a notoriously frequent cannibal, with family members often eating one another in what scientists believe is an act of ‘natural population control’

Researchers say as many as one in twenty of the species' young fall victim to the jaws of larger adults. Mr Streets said he initially thought the huge reptile's victim was a bird, before quickly realising it was a far smaller alligator

Researchers say as many as one in twenty of the species' young fall victim to the jaws of larger adults. Mr Streets said he initially thought the huge reptile's victim was a bird, before quickly realising it was a far smaller alligator

Researchers say as many as one in twenty of the species’ young fall victim to the jaws of larger adults. Mr Streets said he initially thought the huge reptile’s victim was a bird, before quickly realising it was a far smaller alligator

He believes the older reptile was potentially devouring its own young. Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) suggest the act could be a form of natural population control

He believes the older reptile was potentially devouring its own young. Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) suggest the act could be a form of natural population control

He believes the older reptile was potentially devouring its own young. Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) suggest the act could be a form of natural population control


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