Hall of North American Wildlife

The Hall of North American Wildlife features some of the continent's most amazing animals in natural habitat dioramas. The major ecosystems of North America—tundra, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, grassland, and desert—are represented along with their diverse inhabitants. Broad in scope and rich in detail, the Hall of North American Wildlife presents unforgettable images of the continent and offers visitors a unique perspective on its wildlife.

Exhibit Highlights

  • Bull elk or wapiti (Cervus elaphus) battle over a harem of cows during the rutting season in early Autumn. The setting is the Hayden Valley of Yellowstone National Park.
  • The endangered jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest of the cats in the Americas, once ranged from the southern United States to the southern tip of South America. It has not been found in the United States since the mid-twentieth century. These specimens were collected in 1910 near Tamaulipas, Mexico.
  • Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) bask on a rocky Hudson Bay shore in the Belchers Islands of Canada. The walrus is well suited to life in the frigid north with its thick layer of blubber and whisker-covered snout used to probe for shellfish. This was the first diorama in the hall.
  • A group of pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) takes flight across their prairie home; in fact, they are galloping with all four feet off the ground. The fastest North American mammals, pronghorns sustain speeds of 70 kilometers per hour (45 mph) with short bursts up to 86 kilometers per hour (55 mph).
  • Sure-footed North American mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) wind their way through treacherous, high altitude terrain. This group is set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of Alberta.
  • A pair of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the Pennsylvania state mammal, is a familiar sight in the Laurel Highlands of western PA. The setting shows characteristic flora and fauna found at the museum’s Powdermill Nature Reserve.
  • A female black bear (Ursus americanus) and her cubs encounter a male in the Allegheny National Forest. Also displayed are other familiar examples of Pennsylvania fauna and flora, including the timber rattlesnake, the ruffed grouse, mountain laurel, and hemlock.

Local Interest

The Mammals of Pennsylvania Resource Site lists distributions and facts about the 70 species of mammals known from Pennsylvania. A Pennsylvania mammals exhibit within the Hall of North American Wildlife displays 42 species of mammals together.

Exhibit Interactives

Exhibitions provide close encounters with nature as visitors immerse themselves in settings that accurately recreate some of the wildest places on the continent—a Rocky Mountain peak, an Arctic plain, an Alaskan island, a Hudson Bay beach, and a Central American desert. Innovative designs bring the exhibitions out from behind glass, granting visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the wild.

Interactive exhibitions allow the visitor to distinguish vertebrate and invertebrate animals and to distinguish among the major groups of vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).

For More Info

Visit the website of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Section of Mammals.