Ideas for an animal habitat diorama

Written by kim durant | 13/05/2017
Ideas for an animal habitat diorama
Dioramas can illustrate past and present animal habitats. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Virtually every place on Earth functions as an animal habitat, from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia to the Atchafalaya Swamp of Louisiana. The most challenging part of making a model of an animal habitat may be choosing which habitat to depict because there are so many possibilities to choose from. Design a diorama that houses your favourite animal or shows a landscape you would like to visit someday.

Lion Habitat

Ideas for an animal habitat diorama
Lions live on the African savannah. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Make a diorama that shows a lion prowling its natural habitat -- the wide-open savannahs of Africa. Start by painting the upper (sky) portion of the diorama container blue or orange-red, depending upon whether you want to show a sunny day or a dramatic savannah sunset. Paint the lower portion green or golden brown (rainy season or dry) and populate it with cardboard cutouts of acacia trees and savannah dwellers like lions and their prey, such as zebras, gazelles and antelope.

Clown Fish Habitat

Ideas for an animal habitat diorama
Coral reefs teem with life. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Create a diorama of a coral reef to depict the habitat of the charismatic clown fish. Paint the sides and top of the diorama container blue to show the tropical saltwater. Paint the bottom of the container grey to indicate the sandy ocean floor. Sculpt different types of coral and coral-attached creatures like anemones and starfish out of coloured modelling clay and arrange them on the bottom of the diorama. Hang painted cardboard clown fish, eels, sharks, manta rays and other reef residents from strings taped to the top of the diorama container, giving them the appearance of being suspended in the water.

Howler Monkey Habitat

Ideas for an animal habitat diorama
Howler monkeys inhabit the rainforest. (Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Design a diorama that shows the howler monkey in its tropical rainforest home. Tropical rainforests are important to the planetary ecosystem -- the Amazon Rainforest, for example, is sometimes described as "the lungs of the planet" -- and abound with animals large and small. Your rainforest diorama should show a howler monkey swinging through the forest canopy while other creatures inhabit the understory and the forest floor. Attach labels to one side of the diorama with the name and characteristics of each level.

Polar Bear Habitat

Ideas for an animal habitat diorama
Polar bears inhabit some of the most remote regions of the world. (NA/ Images)

Craft a diorama that shows a polar bear in its northern home. Decide what time of year you want the diorama to show. Sometimes polar bears spend days navigating sea ice, searching for the seals they feed on, while other times they trek the icy tundra. For a sea ice polar bear diorama, paint the bottom part of the diorama container dark blue to represent the ocean and the upper part light blue to represent the sky. Carve ice floes out of craft foam and arrange them on the bottom of the diorama container. Sculpt a seal head sticking out of a breathing hole in one of the floes. Add a model or cutout of a polar bear ready to pounce on the seal.

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