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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 >

Our Exhibits Meet State Standards!

Our diorama halls are just one place where teachers and chaperones can meet State Standards! To download easy-to-use field trip guides that are aligned with Standards.
Learn More



Bassariscus astutus (Lichtenstein, 1830)

Ringtail diorama in the North American Mammal Hall


 Rock outcrop in Whipple Mountains, five miles west of Parker Dam in southeastern California.


 Kenneth E. Stager

Background artist:

 Steve Hill and James R. Olson

Also present:

 Deermouse (Peromyscus maniculatus),
western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus),
night snake (Hypsiglena torquata),
tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes),
stink beetle (Eleodes sp).

The ringtail, the state mammal of Arizona, is a member of the raccoon family and is native to the New World. Nocturnal and shy, it is seldom seen in the wild.

Biological Information

Range map for the ringtail


Mountains, badlands and forests in southwestern United States to Baja California and southern Mexico


Shelter-providing rocky broken areas in a variety of habitats ranging from mountain to desert


Common in mountainous and rocky terrain, less so in forests


Omnivorous: small mammals, grasshoppers, beetles, fruits, eggs, lizards, and carrion

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