Upper Nile River Diorama150 Miles Southwest of Lake No, South Sudan
Permanent water in arid areas attracts species that require drinking water daily and also some adapted for semiaquatic existence. Hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibius
) live in groups in water and can submerge for as long as six minutes. The rarely seen sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii
), the most aquatic of antelopes, sometimes submerges to its nostrils to hide. Along with other species of antelope pictured here are birds, papyrus reeds, and grasses typical of the Upper Nile marshlands. One of these is the shoebill (Balaeniceps rex
), a secretive, solitary bird whose unique bill may be a modification for digging up lungfish, one of its chief foods.
The habitat dioramas are among the greatest treasures of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, depicting a precise moment in time—a specific location, complete with its indigenous flora and wildlife. The Museum is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions, drawing millions of visitors each year. Visit amnh.org for more information.
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