9 of 19    larger

Bear couple: When it comes to conveying animal behaviour, the moving image has an advantage over the still. Through a series of intercut pictures, television and film can develop a story and illustrate the most subtle features of any creature's activity. The stills photographer must do it in one frame. And Eero has done precisely that. The bears here are a courting couple in Finland, close to the Russian border. The animal in the foreground is a male, which is rolling on meat bait staked out by the photographer. It is a behaviour which Eero has witnessed before and assumed to be a strategy used by the male beers to render themselves irresistible to members of the apposite sex. Whether or not female bears like their men to smel1 of fresh meat is uncertain, but the lady in question is obviously captivated by the antics of her suitor. Let's face it, though, she's looking at him from the wrong angle. If, like Eero, she chose to watch him flailing around with amber back-light showing off his glorious coat to its greatest effect, she would be putty in his paws. Photographer: Eero Kemila (Finland). Runner-up at the BBC Photo Contest 1998