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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 >

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 >

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Polar bear

Ursus maritimus (Phipps, 1774)

Polar bear diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 Bylot Island off northern end of Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada


 Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Logan

Polar bears are a top carnivore of the arctic. The remains of their kills provide food for younger, less-experienced bears and for Arctic foxes. Polar bears are potentially dangerous to humans but contact between bears and unwary humans is rare.

Polar bear materials have historically been used by native people of the arctic for fur, meat, and medicines. Hunting by those groups is still allowed in the United States, Canada, and Greenland (Denmark).

Biological Information

Range map for the polar bear


Arctic coasts of North America (south to southern tip of Hudson Bay), Europe and Asia


Ice floes and barren rocky shores




Mainly seals but also stranded whales and other carrion, birds eggs and vegetation

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