A Polar Bear lays flat on the cold, snowy tundra of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba, Canada looking like he just completed a bellyflop dive. If the ground was much steeper, the Polar Bear could easily use his belly for a sled which is something that cubs love to do.
His hind paws stick out from behind his massive body when in the bellyflop position which lets visitors see how big they are. Each paw is about twelve inches across with black footpads on the bottom which are covered with small bumps to protect the Polar Bear from slipping. In between their toes and footpads, tufts of fur grow to also help the Polar Bear when walking on ice or slippery surfaces.When a Polar Bear is treading on thin ice, the bellyflop position is often taken and they will crawl across their bellies so that their weight is evenly spread out.
Humans would find the bellyflop position on the tundra of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba a very cold position to be in, but it does not affect a Polar Bear at all. They are Arctic animals that thrive in the cold temperatures where they take to the ice in search of meals and they can survive the coldest winters.A Polar Bear has two layers of fur for warmth along with a layer of blubber that is approximately four and a half inches thick.
Small ears and a short tail also protect the Polar Bear from losing any heat and even on harsh cold days, if they run for a distance they can easily overheat.Polar Bear watching tours are offered in Churchill, Manitoba and when locating a bear in its natural environment, you never know what kind of position you might find it in.Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus, in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, Hudson Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/400 sec. on ISO 200, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 340mm.
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