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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 >

Field Trips & Travel

Galapagos: May 2010

Discover the Galapagos Islands, Darwin's living laboratory, on this Fellows adventure. Learn more >

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 >

First Fridays: Previous Seasons

Over the past decade, First Fridays has introduced adult audiences to a new kind of museum experience.

Explore past First Fridays and see which of your favorite scientists and musicians were here at NHM!


Black rhinoceros

Diceros bicornis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Black rhinoceros diorama in the African Mammal Hall


 Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


 John Jewett Garland and the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

Background artist:

 Robert Russell Reid

Also present:

 Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus),
Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax metabates),
Grey Hornbill (Tockus nasutus),
Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala),
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracius caudata),
Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis),
Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri),
Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus),
Von Der Decken’s Hornbill (Tockus deckeni)

The black rhino manipulates its food with the aid of its narrow prehensile lips. These contrast markedly with the wide lips of the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), which is a grazer.

The black rhino has been heavily poached for its horn. Formerly distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, in 2003 only 3600 individuals remained. Most live in the game parks of eastern and southern Africa where they receive some protection against poachers.

The West African black rhinoceros is the most endangered subspecies. Only a few individuals survive in northern Cameroon.

Biological Information

Range map for the black rhinoceros


Scattered pockets in eastern and southern Africa


Open woodland, thickets and savanna edges




Low level browse (leaves, buds, and shoots of plants, bushes, and trees)

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