Sunday 25 September 2016

Don't croc the poor little terrapin

Published 08/04/2015 | 12:11

A West African dwarf crocodile and a red-eared terrapin are involved in a tussle at Paignton Zoo (Abigail Hewings/Paignton Zoo/PA)
A West African dwarf crocodile and a red-eared terrapin are involved in a tussle at Paignton Zoo (Abigail Hewings/Paignton Zoo/PA)

It seems even animals compete for the best seat in the house.

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An extraordinary photograph shows a quietly-determined tussle between a West African dwarf crocodile and a red-eared terrapin at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

University student Abigail Hewings took the photograph during a recent visit to the zoo and it shows the crocodile - one of the smallest of its species in the world - and the terrapin competing for the same spot.

Mike Bungard, the zoo's curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates, said: "It happens, but I think it's pretty rare to photograph it.

"You might expect it to be the other way round, with the terrapin on top."

Mr Bungard said it was possible the two animals, which do not have names, were competing for the same heat lamp space.

"We have multiple basking spots in the enclosure to prevent competition and allow plenty of choice, so why they decided to climb over each other, I don't know," he said.

Press Association

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