Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFollow us on FlickrFollow us on YouTubeFollow us on PinterestFollow us on Instagram

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!



Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758)

Raccoon diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 East Fork San Gabriel River, California

Background artist:

 Robert C. Clark

Raccoons have a highly developed sense of touch. Their human-like forepaws are especially sensitive and enable the raccoon to handle and pry open prey and climb with ease. They usually pick up food with their front paws, and sometimes wash it, before putting it in their mouth. Raccoons are mainly nocturnal and have excellent night vision. They have excellent hearing and are always alert.

Biological Information

Range map for the raccoon


Southern Canada south to northern South America


Prefer moist woodland areas but highly adaptable


Widespread in continental North America but island populations endangered


Crayfish, insects, rodents, frogs, fish, and bird eggs

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