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The Making of a Diorama

The Habitat Views video considers ways of looking at dioramas today, and documents the creation of several new displays. Take a look over on our  YouTube channel >

Our Exhibits Meet State Standards!

Our diorama halls are just one place where teachers and chaperones can meet State Standards! To download easy-to-use field trip guides that are aligned with Standards.
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Recreating Nature Indoors

Ever wonder who made the dioramas in our mammal halls? Read all about the artists who created these wonderful scenes. Learn more >

 

Ratel or honey badger

Mellivora capensis (Schreber, 1776)

Ratel dirorama in the African Mammal Hall

Scene:

 Serengeti Plain, Tanzania

Sponsor:

 Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

Background artist:

 Duncan Alanson Spencer

Also present:

 Greater Honeyguide

The ratel is a member of the weasel family. Its fearsome claws and tremendous strength are used in burrowing for shelter and for digging up dung beetles for food.

The other common name for ratel is honey badger. Greater Honeyguides will lead a ratel to a bee's nest and will then share the beeswax (and eggs, larvae, and pupae) when the ratel breaks open the hive.


Biological Information

Range map for the ratel

Range:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat:

Commonest in open woodland but also forest, desert steppe, alpine moorland and coastal scrub

Status:

Declining

Diet:

Opportunistic omnivore: insects, reptiles, birds, fish, carrion, honey

Further information about this species may be found on the Animal Diversity Web page for honey badger.