1. North American Beaver - July evening, Central Michigan
The beaver is not your typical rodent. It’s the largest one on the continent, and the only one that can cut down mature trees. Beavers use the timber to build large, elaborate nests—dome-shaped lodges with underwater entrances—inside ponds. If there is no pond, beavers will create one by building a dam to block a stream. The resulting moat around their lodges keeps wolves, coyotes and other predators at bay.
    As semiaquatic rodents, beavers have closeable ears and nostrils, webbed hind feet and very dense fur coats. Their paddlelike tails appear to be covered in scales like a fish, but they aren’t. Rather, the skin is grooved in a scaly pattern, which makes the thick tail more flexible.
Beavers can drastically alter landscapes. Working  in family groups of four to eight, a beaver colony can cut down more than a ton of trees per year. This colony has dammed a stream with logs, mud and stones to make a pond. The land is so newly flooded that some trees have not yet drowned. 
By altering streams, beavers expand wetlands , offering rich habitat for other species. Beaver ponds can also control runoff and reduce erosion. Eventually, this pond will clog with sediment. At that point, or when all accessible trees are cut, the colony will abandon its effort and begin again elsewhere.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

    North American Beaver - July evening, Central Michigan

    The beaver is not your typical rodent. It’s the largest one on the continent, and the only one that can cut down mature trees. Beavers use the timber to build large, elaborate nests—dome-shaped lodges with underwater entrances—inside ponds. If there is no pond, beavers will create one by building a dam to block a stream. The resulting moat around their lodges keeps wolves, coyotes and other predators at bay.

    As semiaquatic rodents, beavers have closeable ears and nostrils, webbed hind feet and very dense fur coats. Their paddlelike tails appear to be covered in scales like a fish, but they aren’t. Rather, the skin is grooved in a scaly pattern, which makes the thick tail more flexible.

    Beavers can drastically alter landscapes. Working  in family groups of four to eight, a beaver colony can cut down more than a ton of trees per year. This colony has dammed a stream with logs, mud and stones to make a pond. The land is so newly flooded that some trees have not yet drowned. 

    By altering streams, beavers expand wetlands , offering rich habitat for other species. Beaver ponds can also control runoff and reduce erosion. Eventually, this pond will clog with sediment. At that point, or when all accessible trees are cut, the colony will abandon its effort and begin again elsewhere.

    This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

  2. Considered the most social of cats, lions live in prides that consist of one or more males, several females, and cubs. While a male lion consumes an average of 5,500 pounds of meat a year—mostly wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes—females do most of the actual hunting.
African lions breed at 3½ years old, and the cubs are born spotted at birth. Male lions weigh about 375 pounds while females average 265 pounds. In captivity, lions have lived up to 25 years, but in the wild they usually survive only half as long.
Find this diorama in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

    Considered the most social of cats, lions live in prides that consist of one or more males, several females, and cubs. While a male lion consumes an average of 5,500 pounds of meat a year—mostly wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes—females do most of the actual hunting.

    African lions breed at 3½ years old, and the cubs are born spotted at birth. Male lions weigh about 375 pounds while females average 265 pounds. In captivity, lions have lived up to 25 years, but in the wild they usually survive only half as long.

    Find this diorama in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

  3. American badger - July Morning, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
After a fruitless night of hunting, a badger has discovered a fresh target: the burrow entrance of a Wyoming ground squirrel. Badgers will dig furiously to excavate underground prey and their own dens. They can quickly tunnel themselves out of sight  using powerful forelimbs and long claws. When attacked themselves—cougars and eagles will try —badgers fight back with ferocity.
This beautiful diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

    American badger - July Morning, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    After a fruitless night of hunting, a badger has discovered a fresh target: the burrow entrance of a Wyoming ground squirrel. Badgers will dig furiously to excavate underground prey and their own dens. They can quickly tunnel themselves out of sight  using powerful forelimbs and long claws. When attacked themselves—cougars and eagles will try —badgers fight back with ferocity.

    This beautiful diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

  4. Wolverine - July, 11:30 pm, Nunavut, Canada
Canada’s Barren Lands are so far north that trees barely grow and the summer sun sets near midnight. This is prime wolverine country: cool, remote and with room to roam. Wolverines are tireless nomads, traveling many miles a day and scaling sheer slopes to find food and mates. Their strength and ferocity is legendary, but wolverines are choosy about what they attack.
What is a Wolverine? Although their name sounds wolfish, wolverines are not closely related to wolves. They look bearlike, but no close relation there, either. Wolverines are instead the largest member of the mustelids, or weasel family.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    Wolverine - July, 11:30 pm, Nunavut, Canada

    Canada’s Barren Lands are so far north that trees barely grow and the summer sun sets near midnight. This is prime wolverine country: cool, remote and with room to roam. Wolverines are tireless nomads, traveling many miles a day and scaling sheer slopes to find food and mates. Their strength and ferocity is legendary, but wolverines are choosy about what they attack.

    What is a Wolverine? Although their name sounds wolfish, wolverines are not closely related to wolves. They look bearlike, but no close relation there, either. Wolverines are instead the largest member of the mustelids, or weasel family.

    This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

  5. Black-tailed and antelope jackrabbits - June at noon, near Tucson, Arizona
The dioramas at the Museum precisely depict a moment in time—a specific location, and in the case of this diorama, time of day, complete with indigenous flora and wildlife. 
The black-tailed jackrabbit (left) and antelope jackrabbit (right) are often seen idling or running together, but make no mistake, these are two different species. Both hares have long ears and legs, but antelope jackrabbits’ ears are even more enormous. Black-tailed jackrabbits are distinguished by black tails and ear-tips. In a race, the antelope jackrabbit would win, reaching speeds of 44 miles (72 kilometers) per hour.
This diorama is located in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    Black-tailed and antelope jackrabbitsJune at noon, near Tucson, Arizona

    The dioramas at the Museum precisely depict a moment in time—a specific location, and in the case of this diorama, time of day, complete with indigenous flora and wildlife. 

    The black-tailed jackrabbit (left) and antelope jackrabbit (right) are often seen idling or running together, but make no mistake, these are two different species. Both hares have long ears and legs, but antelope jackrabbits’ ears are even more enormous. Black-tailed jackrabbits are distinguished by black tails and ear-tips. In a race, the antelope jackrabbit would win, reaching speeds of 44 miles (72 kilometers) per hour.

    This diorama is located in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

  6. 






Coyote - June, Yosemite Valley, California 
A coyote sends a yippy howl, a long-distance call which wards off packs nearby. The second coyote may chime in to broadcast the number in its pack, but for now it is preoccupied with digging for a gopher or another burrower. 
This diorama is located in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    Coyote - June, Yosemite Valley, California

    A coyote sends a yippy howl, a long-distance call which wards off packs nearby. The second coyote may chime in to broadcast the number in its pack, but for now it is preoccupied with digging for a gopher or another burrower. 

    This diorama is located in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

  7. Big Bend National Park was established in Texas on this day in 1944.
This beautiful park is the setting for the Museum’s collared peccary diorama, which depicts this distant cousin of the domestic pig. Collared peccaries are sociable and often travel in herds of a dozen or more. Armed with long, tapering canine teeth, collared peccaries are also known as javelinas, from a Spanish word meaning “spear.”
More in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    Big Bend National Park was established in Texas on this day in 1944.

    This beautiful park is the setting for the Museum’s collared peccary diorama, which depicts this distant cousin of the domestic pig. Collared peccaries are sociable and often travel in herds of a dozen or more. Armed with long, tapering canine teeth, collared peccaries are also known as javelinas, from a Spanish word meaning “spear.”

    More in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

  8. Our Moose diorama has officially been remixed!

    Thanks to everyone who submitted their amazing artwork, with special shoutouts to our featured artists: ultimate-journey, nemozerore—ignite.tumblr.com

    Stay tuned for another Diorama Remix! 

  9. "Early June" from the display Seasons on the Farm, located in the Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment. 

    "Early June" from the display Seasons on the Farm, located in the Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment. 

  10. The photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto has visited the Museum four times in the past four decades to shoot his “Dioramas” series, which focuses on habitat displays to explore the distinction between the real and the fictive. 

    "I have my ideas and visions of what nature should look like. So I’m using this diorama to represent my idealistic visions of nature." 

    The first photographs from the “Dioramas” series, shot in 1976, brought Sugimoto to acclaim. “Dioramas” continues to gain an audience today with recent exhibitions at the thegetty in Los Angeles and the pacegallery in New York.

  11. The Museum is renowned for the halls of habitat dioramas. Popularized in an era when film and wildlife photography were in their infancy, dioramas introduced museum visitors to an early form of “virtual reality.”
In a 1908 New York Times article about the Hall of North American Birds, a visitor observed the Wading Birds Diorama: “That’s pretty good, but I don’t see why the Museum authorities allow that dirty water to stand there like that…I should think it would be unhealthy.” Since the water the viewer referenced is an artificial recreation of a swamp, Museum artists would consider this response a great success. 

    The Museum is renowned for the halls of habitat dioramas. Popularized in an era when film and wildlife photography were in their infancy, dioramas introduced museum visitors to an early form of “virtual reality.”

    In a 1908 New York Times article about the Hall of North American Birds, a visitor observed the Wading Birds Diorama: “That’s pretty good, but I don’t see why the Museum authorities allow that dirty water to stand there like that…I should think it would be unhealthy.” Since the water the viewer referenced is an artificial recreation of a swamp, Museum artists would consider this response a great success. 

  12. Today’s look into the Museum archives shows the delicate processes that take place during the creation of a habitat diorama. In this 1960 photograph by Alex J. Rota, a Museum preparator gently sets a Yellow-throated Bunting on a blade of grass in the Japanese Bird Group.
The completed diorama can be found in the Hall of Birds of the World today. For a closer look at the Museum’s bird dioramas, check out our video series, Birding at the Museum.
AMNH/327429

    Today’s look into the Museum archives shows the delicate processes that take place during the creation of a habitat diorama. In this 1960 photograph by Alex J. Rota, a Museum preparator gently sets a Yellow-throated Bunting on a blade of grass in the Japanese Bird Group.

    The completed diorama can be found in the Hall of Birds of the World today. For a closer look at the Museum’s bird dioramas, check out our video series, Birding at the Museum.

    AMNH/327429

  13. This image shows the 1947 progression of a mount for the Wolf Diorama in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.
It begins with the positioning of the skeleton, then modeling the wolf form with plaster of paris, followed by the making of a cast, ending with a completed paper manikin which the wolf skin is fitted over. 
Learn more in this video series about the restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals.

    This image shows the 1947 progression of a mount for the Wolf Diorama in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

    It begins with the positioning of the skeleton, then modeling the wolf form with plaster of paris, followed by the making of a cast, ending with a completed paper manikin which the wolf skin is fitted over. 

    Learn more in this video series about the restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals.

  14. Diorama Remix

    From sketches to mini dioramas, the Museum has inspired many artists to create their own awesome works—and we want to see more! 

    Consider the Moose diorama, located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, the subject of this PBS DIORAMA segment. We want to see your take on it! From life-like sketches to mashups inspired by your favorite fandoms. Think inside, outside, and all around the box…errr, diorama.

    Check out videosarchival photos, and learn all about Moose, then, go forth and create. Send over your pieces by hitting the Submit button on our Tumblr. You have till June 1, and then we’ll repost a selection of what we get! 

  15. When Theodore Roosevelt became President in 1901, he was poised to use his lifelong passion for wildlife and wilderness to direct public policy. While in office, he placed 230 million acres of land under federal protection and established five national parks. 
On May 22, 1902, he established Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, depicted in the American marten diorama of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, adjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.
 The background of the American marten diorama, which was painted by James Perry Wilson, depicts Crater Lake, the giant water-filled caldera that was created when an immense volcano exploded and collapsed more than 7,000 years ago. 
Learn more. 

    When Theodore Roosevelt became President in 1901, he was poised to use his lifelong passion for wildlife and wilderness to direct public policy. While in office, he placed 230 million acres of land under federal protection and established five national parks.

    On May 22, 1902, he established Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, depicted in the American marten diorama of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammalsadjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.

    The background of the American marten diorama, which was painted by James Perry Wilson, depicts Crater Lake, the giant water-filled caldera that was created when an immense volcano exploded and collapsed more than 7,000 years ago. 

    Learn more.