A year into his UK tour, May 18 sees Dippy the Dinosaur visit the Great North Museum in Newcastle.
The Diplodocus, nicknamed “Dippy”, has been a regular feature at Natural History Museum in London since 1905, becoming the first full skeleton of a sauropod dinosaur to be displayed anywhere in the world. Dippy stood in Hintze Hall in the Museum until January 2017 when it was announced that the dinosaur would be touring various museums across the UK.
All 292 bones of the dinosaur are currently travelling across the UK, the first time the model has been outside of London. Having started his journey since early last year, Dippy is halfway through his tour- having visited Dorset, Birmingham and Ulster, and is currently residing in Glasgow.
According to the Natural History Museum’s website, the aim of the tour is to “inspire a new generation of scientists” and to “connect the nation with nature”. Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon also commented on why the venues that are hosting Dippy were chosen. He said, “We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people who may not usually visit a museum.”
“Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation, so we have ensured that Dippy will still be free to view at all tour venues.”
There are fewer and less well funded museums in the North East than there are in other parts of the UK, such as London. Taking the initiative to display iconic museum pieces that can not often be seen outside of London enables learning to be fun and accessible for all.
Dippy is a huge skeleton, even by dinosaur standards, measuring 21.3m in length and 4m in height. The skeleton is estimated to be 150 million years old. Whilst Dippy is now dead, he may have lived a long and happy life as this species of Dinosaur had a life expectancy of 70-80 years.
13You can catch Dippy at the Great North museum from May 18 until October 6. Entry is free, but tickets must be booked in advance.