An American angler on a fishing expedition in Australia made a fascinating catch: As he was taking pictures of his prize, the fish began to regurgitate a lizard, which moments later crawled out of the fish's mouth.
Visiting American angler John Berzins was fishing with guide Al Simson in the Doughboy River on the western side of northern Cape York this week when he hooked the fish.
While admiring the fish, it started regurgitating its last meal, which clearly should have been dead and looked dead with its lifeless eyes.
The small skink had been swallowed by the fish in a remote Cape York river and already was partially digested when the fish was caught by a fisherman. The saratoga is much-sought-after by sports fisherman because of its willingness to attack anything that moves and its fighting qualities.
But as Simson continued taking photographs a miracle happened.
"As I was looking through the lens of the camera I noticed that the once-glazed over eyes of the skink were now black," he said.
"I said, 'Hey, John, the skink's alive.' John said, 'Wow man, it just blinked at me, and look, it's breathing.'"
The lizard began to struggle and with a little help from the fisherman it crawled from its captor's jaws. There were some teeth marks down its back and the tail was partially digested, but when they put it back on the river bank it happily scurried off.
"We witnessed the ultimate will to survive," Simson said. "The skink had probably slowed down its heart rate in order to stay alive for that length of time underwater without air."
There are more amazing photographs of Simon's fishing adventures on his Web site at www.kettafly.com.