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  • NAMCougarHero
  • Aberts Squirrel

    Abert's Squirrel

    Only in winter do the perky ears of Abert’s squirrels grow tassels.

  • Alaska Brown Bear
  • American Marten
  • American Mink
  • Bighorn Sheep

    Bighorn Sheep

    Horn and body size determine rank, so the leader of this band is certainly the ram on the right.

  • DF_070202_0562_Wolverine final small


    Wolverines are tireless nomads, traveling many miles a day.

  • NAM RM_Wolf_ hero.jpg


    This wolf pack is chasing a deer that is running for its life.

  • Bison
  • DF_120607_1670-White-tailed Deerl final
  • NAM DF _Western Gray Squirrel hero.jpg
  • CC_Wapiti_final


    This deer is also known as elk in North America.

  • DF_121012_1818 Striped Skunk final

    Striped Skunk

    Striped skunks can emit defensive musk at just two weeks old.

  • NAM DF_Canada Lynx and Snowshoe Hare hero.jpg
  • Caribou (Grant)


    Caribou, also known as reindeer, flourish in some of the world’s harshest places.

  • DF_120702_6531 Spotted Skunk and Ringtail final
  • Collared Peccary

    Collared Peccary

    Peccaries are sociable and often travel in herds of a dozen or more.

  • Coyote


    Coyotes have expanded their range into former wolf territory.

  • Eastern Cottontail
  • Fisher and Porcupine
  • Gray Fox and Opossum

    Gray Fox and Opossum

    Gray foxes shinny up trunks by gripping with their forelimbs while pushing with their hind paws.

  • Grizzly Bear

    Grizzly Bear

    Grizzly bears are actually the same species as the Alaska brown bears.

  • Groundhog


    Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, spend much of their lives underground.

  • Ice Age Dioramas
  • Jaguar


    The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas.

  • Mountain Goat

    Mountain Goat

    No mammal is more sure-footed on steep peaks than the mountain goat.

  • NAM Mule Deer

    Mule Deer

    Mule deer and white-tailed deer are very close relatives and overlap in range.

  • NAM Musk Ox Hero

    Musk Ox

    When the weather gets foul, musk oxen's strategy is to stay and cope.

  • NAM Nine Banded Armadillo Hero

    Nine-Banded Armadillo

    All litters of this species derive from a single fertilized egg that divides into four.

  • NAM North American Beaver Hero

    North American Beaver

    The largest rodent on the continent, it's the only one that can cut down mature trees.

  • NAM Northern Flying Squirrel Hero
  • NAM Raccoon Hero


    Few other North American mammals have adapted so readily to cities.

  • NAM River Otter Hero

    River Otter

    River otters use land only as a latrine and a bed.

  • NAM Sewellel Hero


    The sewellel is the last living member of a once-successful family of rodents.

  • Dall Sheep

    Dall Sheep

    Dall sheep thrive where few mammals can, above the tree line on windy peaks in Alaska and northwest Canada.

  • NAM Moose Hero


    Moose are the largest deer in the world.

  • Black Bear

    Black Bear

    Black bears eat almost anything, so they can survive in many landscapes.

  • Black-footed Ferret
  • Caribou (Osborn)


    Caribou are the only species of deer in which both sexes have antlers.

  • About This Hall

    • Each of the 43 dioramas in the stunningly restored Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals offers a snapshot of North America’s rich environmental heritage. The hall, which first opened in 1942, focuses on 46 mammal species ranging from the nine-banded armadillo to the white-tailed deer, and its dioramas are widely considered the finest in the world.

      For more than a year, a team of artists, conservators, taxidermists, and designers worked to re-color faded fur, dust delicate leaves, and selectively restore the background paintings for the historic hall's reopening in October 2012. Text accompanying each diorama was updated to offer the latest scientific information about featured species. 

      Show more
  • Exhibition Text

    • Enter North America: a continent of contrasts, with mammals in every realm. Some are adapted to forests, some to deserts and others to icy peaks. In this hall, you can explore North America’s chief environments and encounter some of its remarkable residents face to face.

      Each diorama shows an actual place on the continent, at one moment in time, with the plants and animals you’d see there. Many of the places are protected as refuges for wildlife, a legacy of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency in the early 1900s. Even now, those places still largely resemble their depiction in the dioramas—a tribute to that conservation effort. 

Hall Highlights

NAM DF_Alaskan Brown Bear.jpg

Alaska Brown Bear

Although brown bears don’t mingle much, these two have gathered at a stream near Canoe Bay, Alaska, lured by the first fish of the salmon run.


Alaskan Moose

Moose are the largest deer in the world. The biggest moose of all live in Alaska, where males can top 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms) and grow antlers 6.8 feet (2.1 meters) wide. 

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American Bison and Pronghorn

This diorama is set in the mid-1800s, when the prairies teemed with tens of millions of bison. A few decades later fewer than a thousand remained.

Conservation President

Conservation President

During his presidency, Roosevelt set aside five national parks, four game preserves, 51 bird refuges, and 18 national monuments. He also created or expanded 150 national forests.



In areas where wolves and cougars are still absent, coyotes act as top predators—although being smaller, they may scavenge as much big game as they catch.

In This Hall

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American Bison and Pronghorn

This diorama is set in the mid-1800s, when the prairies teemed with tens of millions of bison. A few decades later fewer than a thousand remained.

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Black Bear

A black bear has startled a venomous cottonmouth snake in this Florida cypress swamp.

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Grizzly Bear

You’d be wise to avoid stumbling upon this scene in the wild.

NAM DF_Gray fox and Opossum.jpg

Gray Fox and Opossum

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.



In the forest, raccoons live near lakes or streams. But human environments also suit them fine.

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North American Beaver

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.

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Fisher and Porcupine

As dawn breaks, a fisher has discovered its favorite prey, a porcupine, descending a tree.

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Western Gray Squirrel

This perspective, high in towering sugar pines, affords a rare close-up of two western gray squirrels. 


Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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