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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 >

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Do Dolphins Have Hair?

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Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger (Harris, 1838)

Sable antelope diorama in the African Mammal Hall


 Munyati Valley, Zimbabwe


 Leslie Simson and Dean Witter

Background artist:

 Frank J. McKenzie

Also present:

 African Hoopoe (Upupa epops africana),
Brown parrot (Poicephalus meyeri),
Green Wood-Hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus),
Magpie Shrike (Corvinella melanoleuca),
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)

Sable antelopes stand 4-5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 600 lbs. Females are chestnut to dark brown, darkening as they mature. Males are black.

Sable antelope form herds of 10 to 30 females and young, led by a single male. Males fight by dropping to their knees and using their horns. The giant sable antelope (Hippotragus niger varani) is critically endangered.

Biological Information

Range map for the Sable Antelope


Eastern and southern Africa


Thin forest with patches of bush and open meadows


Endangered (Kenya) to rare (South Africa)



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