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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 >

Field Trips & Travel

Galapagos: May 2010

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



Giraffa camelopardalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Giraffe diorama in the African Mammal Hall


 Waterhole near the Tana River, Kenya


 Maurice A. Machris and the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

Background artist:

 Duncan Alanson Spencer

Also present:

 Vulturine Guinea Fowl (Acryllium vulturinum),
Sandgrouse (Pterocles sp.),
Cape Buffalo,
Savanna Elephant

The giraffe is the tallest of the living land mammals. Males are between 16 and 18 feet tall and weigh up to 2000 lbs. Females are shorter and lighter. The long necks enable giraffes to feed from tall trees but the giraffe’s heart has to generate double the normal blood pressure for large mammals in order to pump blood to its brain.

Giraffes are related to deer and antelopes but are placed in a separate family, which they share only with the okapi.

Biological Information

Range map for the giraffe


Sub-Saharan Africa


Savannas and open woodland


Local populations vulnerable in many areas


Browse, especially Acacia leaves

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