Two wild Komodo dragons were stopped from boarding a small rowboat with only a couple of sticks.
The magnificent moment was captured on video when the huge heads and forked tongues of the dragons rose just above the surface of the water as they swam to the boat.
Two of the large reptiles could be seen trying to get into the boat while snapping the sticks with spikes that hit them in the water.
While pushing themselves, the pair of predators are pushed by the men in the boat.
The amazing footage shows what lies beneath when the powerful legs of the dangerous predator propel it through the water in search of a meal.
These extraordinary photographs were taken from the coast of Rinca Island, in the Komodo National Park, Indonesia, from a rowboat by photographer Andy Lerner of Los Angeles.
Scroll down to watch the video.
Back off: when the mighty Komodo dragons headed for the boat, those on board defended them with two sticks.
Predator: These remarkable photographs were taken from a rowboat off the coast of Rinca Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, by photographer Andy Lerner.
Double problem: you could see two of the large reptiles that were trying to board the small boat while snapping sticks with spikes that hit them in the water
Whip of the tongue: the impressive footage and still shots captured by Andy Lerner show the huge heads and forked tongues of the dragons
The 60-year-old man said: "Being close to apex predators is always an emotion, be they big cats, white sharks or these dragons.
It's something that most people do not have the opportunity to do, so I love to share it. I really like the prehistoric aspect of these animals. I think we have a visceral reaction to something that connects us with dinosaurs.
"They really looked and moved the way we think the dinosaurs did … Maybe it's fear, but it also triggers a kind of wonder.
"These particular dragons are used to being fed by tourist boats and have been conditioned by that to take a look at the boats in search of food as they approach.
"This, of course, unfortunate and is not a natural behavior for dragons, as I would always prefer, but to take these pictures for sure was my best choice, they are surprisingly fast and erratic swimmers, especially when they are hungry."
As a result of their size, these lizards, which can weigh up to 14 (200 lb), dominate the ecosystems in which they live.
Here I come: the Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey, including invertebrates, birds and mammals, including the Timor deer, although they also eat considerable amounts of carrion.
Beware: the powerful legs of the dangerous predator propel him through the water in search of a meal
The Komodo dragons hunt and ambush their prey, including invertebrates, birds and mammals.
It has been claimed that they have a poisonous bite, since there are two glands in the lower jaw that secrete several toxic proteins.
The biological importance of these proteins is discussed, but it has been shown that the glands secrete an anticoagulant.
The group behavior of Komodo dragons in hunting is exceptional in the world of reptiles.
The diet of the great Komodo dragons consists mainly of Timor deer, although they also eat considerable amounts of carrion. Komodo dragons also occasionally attack humans.
Andy took these shots with a wide-angle lens at water level, but had to hang on the side of a small boat, as it was too dangerous to get into the water with the huge beasts.
He added: "Dragons are of course very dangerous, the best you can hope for if a dragon bites you is simply losing a limb."
Looking for prey: it is sometimes known that Komodo dragons attack humans, but mainly delight in mammals and smaller birds in their Indonesian habitat.
Emotion: Andy Lerner, a photographer from Los Angeles, said that "being close to apex predators is always an emotion, be they big cats, white sharks or these dragons
Powerful Beasts: Due to their size, these Komodo dragon lizards, which can weigh up to 14 (200 lb), dominate the ecosystems in which they live
– So, all of our plans started with the idea of keeping me alive. That meant he really would not be diving with them. I needed to be protected. Under the supervision of my guide Foued and two other experienced drivers, we arrived near the beach in a small Zodiac-type boat.
"When the dragons were approaching the boat, I was hanging on the side, the camera housing in the water, the face behind, while my guides tried to attract them to the front of my camera. push them if they got uncomfortably close, but, in reality, the whole concept required them to be uncomfortably close, not for the faint of heart.
"Keep in mind that long sticks are used by rangers throughout the national park to protect tourists and are not harmful to dragons."