Animals

By Liam Geraghty


This is the bizarre moment a snapper took a ‘shell’ of a rare photo – by capturing a ‘planking’ turtle.

American photographer Brent Joseph Smith was kayaking through Brushy Creek Reservoir in Cedar Park, Texas when he spotted three Rio Grande Cooter turtles.

The 44-year-old’s hilarious shots show one turtle appearing to ‘plank’ while leaning on top of his mother as he arches his neck toward the sun.

PIC FROM Brent Joseph Smith/MERCURY PRESS

But the professional snapper said the turtle’s behaviour can in fact be put down to the cold-blooded reptiles’ need to keep themselves warm in the sun in order to survive.

Brent, from Austin, Texas, said: “The turtle, who is most likely a youth sitting on his mother, was very funny. It looks like he is planking.

“I find it very humorous and the people who have seen it after I have shared the photos also love it and think that it is hilarious.

“They are actually sunbathing because turtles are cold-blooded animals which means that they must warm themselves up in the sun to keep up their body temperatures.”

PIC BY Brent Joseph Smith/MERCURY PRESS

Brent, who took the shots with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 70-200mm lens, insisted the shots show the real skill of wildlife photography – demonstrating the animal’s personality traits.

But he admitted patience and luck also played their part in his fascinating captures.

Brent said: “Documenting animals is not difficult. Documenting them doing something funny or specific to their personality traits is what takes a lot of patience and more luck.

PIC FROM Brent Joseph Smith/MERCURY PRESS

“Nature photography pulls me into a world of discovery, awe and peace.

“I absolutely love communing with nature and capturing its beauty and wonder and getting a photo like this is extremely rewarding.”