The pictures of a menacing alligator with glowing red eyes were taken as it lurked in a shallow river just after sunset.
The intrepid photographer, Larry Lynch, was only seven metres away when he snapped the creature waiting to pounce at Myakka River State Park in Florida. Larry won the Natural History Museum's animal portrait of the year for the picture below, entitled Warning Night Light.
Fiery red eyes: The alligator is glowing in the dark as it waits for its next meal
Larry said: "I knew the alligators were hanging out in a certain area, all I had to do was find one that would co-operate."
By setting his flash to the lowest setting, Larry caught the fearsome glint in the alligator’s eyes. The distinctive red glow is a good way to be alert that there is an alligator nearby at night.
Devilish glow: The photographer was only seven metres away when he took the pictures
Like cats, alligators' eyes make the most of low light with special photoreceptor cells. Unlike cats, in alligators the reflection is red.
Larry recalled the tense moment he took his award-winning pictures: "Between kneeling in several inches of black mud, the heat, humidity, and blood thirsty mosquitos my thoughts were, get the best picture I can and get the hell out."