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.
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.”
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.
“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.”