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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 >

Do Dolphins Have Hair?

Our mammal researchers answer this and other questions on our Mammalogy FAQs page.
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 >

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American wapiti or elk

Cervus elaphus elaphus (Linnaeus, 1758)

American wapiti or elk diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Background artist:

 J. Robert Sewell

Elk were originally valued by the early settlers and Native Americans as food and for their fur, teeth, hides, and antlers. Today elk are economically valuable for tourism, hunting, and for their meat and other products. In the western United States elk are known to carry and contract chronic wasting disease, a condition similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

Biological Information

Range map for the American wapiti or elk


Rocky Mountains of United States and Canada


Grasslands and forest edge


Conservation measures ensure that elk not in danger


Grasses and leaves

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