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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 >

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 >

Do Dolphins Have Hair?

Our mammal researchers answer this and other questions on our Mammalogy FAQs page.
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First Fridays 2014: LA Stories...Walk on the Wild Side

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Black-tailed deer

Odocoileus hemionus columbianus (Richardson, 1829)

Black-tailed deer diorama in the North American Mammal Hall

Scene:

 California redwoods

The black-tailed deer is one of nine subspecies of the mule deer. It was first recorded by the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-06.

Black-tailed deer live in the temperate coniferous forests along the Pacific coast.  These forests are characterized by cool temperatures and lots of rain, but an overall mild climate.  Black-tailed deer do not therefore migrate in response to seasonal changes, unlike some of the other mule deer subspecies.  Instead, black-tailed deer often spend their entire life in the same general area.

Black-tailed deer can be distinguished from mule deer by their larger tail, the back of which is completely covered with black or dark brown hairs.  Mule deer have smaller tails in which only the tip is covered with black hairs.  Black-tailed deer are generally smaller than mule deer.


Biological Information

Range map for the black-tailed deer

Range:

Central California to British Columbia

Habitat:

Mixed habitat with forest cover

Status:

Mostly common and widespread in suitable habitats

Diet:

New plant growth in spring, woody browse at other times; acorns favored when available

Further information about mule deer may be found on the Animal Diversity Web page for mule deer.