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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 >

First Fridays: Previous Seasons

Over the past decade, First Fridays has introduced adult audiences to a new kind of museum experience.

Explore past First Fridays and see which of your favorite scientists and musicians were here at NHM!


Grizzly bear

Ursus arctos (Linnaeus, 1758)

Grizzly bear diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 Near Karluk Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska


 Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation

Background artist:

 Robert Russell Reid

Also present:

 Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Grizzly bears are normally active at night and during twilight hours. They have poor sight but excellent hearing and smell. Often ill-tempered, they may attack without provocation.

The world-record grizzly bear was collected near Karluk Lake on Kodiak Island, Alaska, on 23 May 1952. Just out of hibernation, the bear weighed 1,190 pounds; the hide alone weighed 157 pounds. The skull measured 17 15/16 at its greatest length without the lower jaw, and 12 13/6 at its greatest width and is conserved in our collections.

Biological Information

Range map for the grizzly bear


Northwestern North America


Open grasslands, tundra, and lightly forested areas


Great Plains grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) is endangered; elsewhere in North America the grizzly is threatened


Vegetation, grubs, rodents and salmon; carnivorous in Canadian Rockies

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