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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.
Learn more >

Mammalogy Contacts

Jorge Velez-Juarbe, Ph.D.
Assistant Curator of Marine Mammals

Jim Dines, Ph.D.
Collections Manager
(213) 763-3400

David Janiger
Curatorial Assistant
(213) 763-3369



Tragelaphus spekei (Speke, 1863)

Sitatunga diorama in the African Mammal Hall


 Swamp near Lake Victoria, Kenya


 Leslie Simson

Background artist:

 Frank J. McKenzie

Also present:

 Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata),
White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)

The sitatunga or marsh buck is a swamp-dwelling antelope found throughout Central Africa. It prefers papyrus swamps and is a very good swimmer. Its hooves are long and thin to help support its weight in a swampy environment.

Sitatunga have a waterproof coat, which is dark brown in males and reddish brown in females. Males have a mane as well as horns, which are twisted and can reach three feet in length.

Biological Information

Range map for the sitatunga


Western and central Africa


Swamps bordering rivers and lakes


Not endangered except in Kenya, Chad, and Zimbabwe


Succulent water plants and shoots of young reeds

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