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Giant crocodile attacks a bull shark: 'Jaws vs. claws' battle caught in photos

A massive saltwater crocodile in Australia was captured on photos looking every bit as if he were making a meal of a shark that apparently swam a bit too close to the giant reptile.

Agence France-Presse reported (via Yahoo News) Aug. 6 that a giant 5.5-meter (18-foot) crococile was photographed by tourists taking in an hour-long wildlife cruise on the Adelaide River in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Andrew Paice was on the cruise with his partner and 7-year-old daughter on Tuesday when movement caught their eye from the direction of the riverbank. It appeared something unusual was happening -- a crocodile, a local "celebrity" named Brutus, was seen up on the bank and he seemed to have something trapped in his jaws.

"It was on the way back to the jetty, we went past Brutus again, he was up on the bank," Paice told AFP on Wednesday. "As we were going past, we noticed that there was a fin. We thought it was a barramundi (fish) or something.

"And the guide took the boat in for a closer look and lo' and behold... it was a shark."

Andrew Paice said the guide, who had been in the area for 30 years, had never seen anything like the crocodile attack on the shark. "He was so excited," Paice added. He noted that his daughter was also "awestruck" by the sight.

But according to National Geographic, saltwater crocodiles like Brutus are the largest reptiles on Earth and will eat anything they can get their jaws on -- from water buffalo to sharks. Called "salties" by Australians, they're indigenous to the Land Down Under, and according to some experts, the animal most likely to eat humans. There are at least 1 or 2 people killed on average every year in Australia by the big reptiles, according to Aquatic Community.

The story would be picked up by Australian as well as international media outlets, many of which would label the battle "Jaws vs. Claws."

Although the Northern Territory News would report that Brutus won the battle of the beasts and had eaten the bull shark, Paice said he wasn't so sure about that.

"When we went past the first time the croc was lying there with the shark in its mouth," he said. "When we pulled the boat in closer it slid back into the water. And when the shark, or the mouth of the croc, hit the water, the shark started to thrash around. So it was certainly still alive. We couldn't see any blood anywhere."

Paice noted that Brutus had only a few teeth left. Having lived to an estimated 80 years of age, he had lost most of his teeth over the years.

"It may have got away; it may have got eaten -- we don't know," Paice concluded. "He didn't put that display on for us unfortunately."

Early this year, Australia was the sight of another epic battle. A python took on a crocodile in a fight to the death that was captured on film and photo.