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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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When you give to the Museum, you support our scientists' research on the planet's biodiversity. You are also creating tomorrow's scientists. Our teacher resources make each field trip a learning experience, our education outreach brings the science of discovery to schools all over L.A.
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Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Get special access to the Museum's vast collections on these exclusive tours! 
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Cougar, mountain lion, or puma

Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771)

Cougar diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 Owens Valley, California

Also present:

 Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)

The range of the cougar, the largest North American feline, covers a wider array of ecological zones than any other New World mammal.

Cougars hunt alone, ambushing their prey from behind and killing with a bite to the nape of the neck.

Biological Information

Range map for the cougar


North and South America from southeast Alaska to southern Argentina and Chile


Forests, desert scrub, chaparral, swamps, tropical rain forest, alpine steppe


Extinct in eastern USA and Canada, endangered in Florida, stable elsewhere


Deer, elk, wild sheep, small mammals, birds, domestic stock

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