Posts tagged diorama

96 posts tagged diorama

Gray fox and opossum - October Afternoon, Eastern Tennessee
A gray fox (ground)and a Virginia opossum (tree) are feeding upon ripe persimmons in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Both animals are omnivores—they eat plants and animals. 
Both species are nimble tree climbers as well, yet have different adaptations for the task. Gray foxes shinny up trunks by gripping with their forelimbs while pushing with their hind paws. Opossums climb with the help of an opposable toe on each hind foot, as well as a prehensile or “grasping” tail.
The gray fox and Virginia opossum may look similar, but they represent two fundamentally distinct groups of mammals.
Foxes are placentals, like humans and most mammals today. Mothers have long pregnancies, nourishing their fetuses through a placenta. Newborns are relatively large and robust, sometimes walking within hours.
Opossums are marsupials, a group that also includes kangaroos and koalas. Pregnancies are so short that newborns are barely more than embryos. The tiny babies crawl to a teat using strong forelimbs and nurse for many weeks to complete development. Like many marsupials, Virginia opossums protect their young with a pouch, or marsupium.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

Gray fox and opossum - October Afternoon, Eastern Tennessee

A gray fox (ground)and a Virginia opossum (tree) are feeding upon ripe persimmons in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Both animals are omnivores—they eat plants and animals. 

Both species are nimble tree climbers as well, yet have different adaptations for the task. Gray foxes shinny up trunks by gripping with their forelimbs while pushing with their hind paws. Opossums climb with the help of an opposable toe on each hind foot, as well as a prehensile or “grasping” tail.

The gray fox and Virginia opossum may look similar, but they represent two fundamentally distinct groups of mammals.

Foxes are placentals, like humans and most mammals today. Mothers have long pregnancies, nourishing their fetuses through a placenta. Newborns are relatively large and robust, sometimes walking within hours.

Opossums are marsupials, a group that also includes kangaroos and koalas. Pregnancies are so short that newborns are barely more than embryos. The tiny babies crawl to a teat using strong forelimbs and nurse for many weeks to complete development. Like many marsupials, Virginia opossums protect their young with a pouch, or marsupium.

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

Eastern Cottontails - October, Ithaca, New York
Eastern cottontails thrive in brambles bordering open fields, and they are fond of farms, gardens and other green areas tended by people. While browsing in a pumpkin patch, these two rabbits are using their large eyes and pivoting ears to scan their surroundings for danger.
Startled cottontails will bolt for cover, showing the puffy white fur on the underside of their tails. The white flash seems to advertise that the speedy rabbits are off and running. For predators, it’s too late for a surprise attack. Some may give the cottontails up for lost and hunt for other prey.
Cottontails feed at dawn and dusk, resting during the day and night in simple hollows in the grass called forms. Females build separate nests for their young by digging shallow holes and lining them with grass, leaves and tufts of their own soft fur. Female cottontails bear up to 35 young each year!
This diorama is located in the Museum’s Hall of North American Mammals. 

Eastern Cottontails - October, Ithaca, New York

Eastern cottontails thrive in brambles bordering open fields, and they are fond of farms, gardens and other green areas tended by people. While browsing in a pumpkin patch, these two rabbits are using their large eyes and pivoting ears to scan their surroundings for danger.

Startled cottontails will bolt for cover, showing the puffy white fur on the underside of their tails. The white flash seems to advertise that the speedy rabbits are off and running. For predators, it’s too late for a surprise attack. Some may give the cottontails up for lost and hunt for other prey.

Cottontails feed at dawn and dusk, resting during the day and night in simple hollows in the grass called forms. Females build separate nests for their young by digging shallow holes and lining them with grass, leaves and tufts of their own soft fur. Female cottontails bear up to 35 young each year!

This diorama is located in the Museum’s Hall of North American Mammals

Wapiti (Elk) - Early October at sunset by the White River, Colorado
This handsome deer is known by many names. “Wapiti” is one. Wapi means “white” in some native Algonquian languages,  which may refer to the deer’s large white rump patch. It is also known as an elk in North America. 
As the October sun sets in this Rocky Mountain valley, a few wapiti nibble on chokecherry and quaking aspen. The male in the foreground is bugling—a call during the fall mating season that sounds like a screeching trumpet. A bull’s bugle can carry a half-mile or more to attract females to his harem. 
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

Wapiti (Elk)Early October at sunset by the White River, Colorado

This handsome deer is known by many names. “Wapiti” is one. Wapi means “white” in some native Algonquian languages,  which may refer to the deer’s large white rump patch. It is also known as an elk in North America. 

As the October sun sets in this Rocky Mountain valley, a few wapiti nibble on chokecherry and quaking aspen. The male in the foreground is bugling—a call during the fall mating season that sounds like a screeching trumpet. A bull’s bugle can carry a half-mile or more to attract females to his harem. 

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

   Osborn Caribou - September, Level Mountain, British Columbia, Canada
Caribou, also known as reindeer, flourish in some of the world’s harshest places. Their principal home is tundra—land that is too cold for trees to grow. Massive herds of caribou migrate across the vast tundra plains of the Arctic. Smaller herds dwell in alpine tundra, which is found on top of high mountains.
In September, the mating season for caribou, called the rut, has begun. Herd members  are gathering in the open so they can find and compete for mates. At any other time of year, these two females and the juvenile (left) would probably avoid males (right). 

Two caribou here have not yet shed their antlers’ velvet. This fuzzy, blood-rich sheath of skin nourishes growth of the bone beneath. Caribou drop their antlers after the rut, but if these two females become pregnant, they will probably keep their antlers all winter. Antlered mothers can better defend themselves when competing for winter food—an advantage for their developing young. 
Caribou are the only species of deer in which both sexes have antlers. This characteristic may have evolved because caribou live in open areas with few places to hide. Antlers offer good defense against predators and aggressive herd-mates.
See this diorama in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 
 

Osborn CaribouSeptember, Level MountainBritish Columbia, Canada

Caribou, also known as reindeer, flourish in some of the world’s harshest places. Their principal home is tundra—land that is too cold for trees to grow. Massive herds of caribou migrate across the vast tundra plains of the Arctic. Smaller herds dwell in alpine tundra, which is found on top of high mountains.

In September, the mating season for caribou, called the rut, has begun. Herd members  are gathering in the open so they can find and compete for mates. At any other time of year, these two females and the juvenile (left) would probably avoid males (right). 

Two caribou here have not yet shed their antlers’ velvet. This fuzzy, blood-rich sheath of skin nourishes growth of the bone beneath. Caribou drop their antlers after the rut, but if these two females become pregnant, they will probably keep their antlers all winter. Antlered mothers can better defend themselves when competing for winter food—an advantage for their developing young. 

Caribou are the only species of deer in which both sexes have antlers. This characteristic may have evolved because caribou live in open areas with few places to hide. Antlers offer good defense against predators and aggressive herd-mates.

See this diorama in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

 

Bighorn Sheep - September Morning, Alberta, Canada
Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 
Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

Bighorn SheepSeptember Morning, Alberta, Canada

Stalwart symbols of mountain wilderness, a “bachelor band” of bighorn sheep stands before Mount Athabasca in the Canadian Rockies. Male sheep older than two years leave their mothers to follow a leading ram. Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right. 

Equally sized males may duel to secure their rank. Rivals will repeatedly face off, charge and then crash horns until one loses balance and concedes. During the mating season, when rams fight for ewes, battles are even more violent. The collisions will echo across the ravines of the Rockies, and some contenders will even be pushed off the edge.

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

Grizzly Bear - September Morning, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
You’d be wise to avoid stumbling upon this scene in the wild. Grizzly bears are unpredictable and may become aggressive if interrupted while eating or tending cubs. This mother is doing both: she’s showing her six-month-olds how to tear open a rotted pine for ants and grubs to eat. 
Did you know? Grizzly bears can grow to very different sizes depending on where they live. The nickname “grizzly” comes from the grizzled, or silver-tipped, hairs on their backs and shoulders.
Find this diorama in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

Grizzly Bear - September Morning, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

You’d be wise to avoid stumbling upon this scene in the wild. Grizzly bears are unpredictable and may become aggressive if interrupted while eating or tending cubs. This mother is doing both: she’s showing her six-month-olds how to tear open a rotted pine for ants and grubs to eat.

Did you know? Grizzly bears can grow to very different sizes depending on where they live. The nickname “grizzly” comes from the grizzled, or silver-tipped, hairs on their backs and shoulders.

Find this diorama in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. 

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Cougar - Summer, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park offers ideal habitat for cougars: shade to escape the heat, rugged terrain in which to ambush prey and nooks to eat carcasses in private. Typically solitary, males and females travel together only during the few days out of the year when they are mating. 

Cougars are sometimes called mountain lions, although they are not closely related to lions in Africa. They are also called pumas, Florida panthers, catamounts and painters.

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

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Happy National Dog Day! 

Pictured is the Hunting Dog diorama in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals. The scene, which takes place on the Serengeti Plain in Northern Tanzania, shows the predatory dogs with their gaze fixed on a distant grazing zebra. 

Roaming savannas and open woodlands in packs numbering up to thirty, hunting dogs run down their prey of gazelles, wildebeests, impalas, and zebras with great mastery. Traveling in over hundreds of square miles, they are successful in about 70 percent of their hunts. 

See more in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals

Sewellel (Mountain Beaver) - August Morning, Mount Rainier, Washington
Neither a beaver nor a high-mountain dweller, the sewellel is a rather singular animal. It’s the last living member of a once-successful family of rodents called the Aplodontiidae. The sewellel is a “living fossil,” showing primitive skeletal features that other rodents have lost. Its kidneys are also unusual: they are inefficient at maintaining the body’s water balance. Thus the sewellel needs to live close to water so it can drink a lot—a third of its weight in water per day. 
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

Sewellel (Mountain Beaver)August Morning, Mount Rainier, Washington

Neither a beaver nor a high-mountain dweller, the sewellel is a rather singular animal. It’s the last living member of a once-successful family of rodents called the Aplodontiidae. The sewellel is a “living fossil,” showing primitive skeletal features that other rodents have lost. Its kidneys are also unusual: they are inefficient at maintaining the body’s water balance. Thus the sewellel needs to live close to water so it can drink a lot—a third of its weight in water per day. 

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

Mountain Goat - August, Tongass National Forest, Southern Alaska
No mammal is more sure-footed on steep peaks than the mountain goat. Its agility and traction surpasses even that of wild sheep. Among the goat’s advantages are muscular forelimbs to help brake on downhills and race upslope.  This climber can gain 75 feet (23 meters) of altitude in only a minute. 
In fact, a young mountain goat can climb anywhere its mother can within a week after birth.   The kid in this scene is about three months old  and was probably born on a high cliff.  

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

Mountain GoatAugust, Tongass National Forest, Southern Alaska

No mammal is more sure-footed on steep peaks than the mountain goat. Its agility and traction surpasses even that of wild sheep. Among the goat’s advantages are muscular forelimbs to help brake on downhills and race upslope.  This climber can gain 75 feet (23 meters) of altitude in only a minute. 

In fact, a young mountain goat can climb anywhere its mother can within a week after birth.   The kid in this scene is about three months old  and was probably born on a high cliff.  

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

Happy #MuseumCats day from the Canada Lynx! 
In this diorama, a snowshoe hare has captured the attention of a Canada lynx. If the hare acts quickly, it may escape. Lynxes specialize in hunting rabbits. They have broad, well-furred paws and fast reflexes. Lynx hearing and vision are also excellent for tracking rabbits on the run. 
Watch a video about the recent restoration of this diorama. 

Happy #MuseumCats day from the Canada Lynx! 

In this diorama, a snowshoe hare has captured the attention of a Canada lynx. If the hare acts quickly, it may escape. Lynxes specialize in hunting rabbits. They have broad, well-furred paws and fast reflexes. Lynx hearing and vision are also excellent for tracking rabbits on the run. 

Watch a video about the recent restoration of this diorama

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. 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. 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

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.

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