Dippy Diplodocus: Curriculum not very Vitae
The Natural History Museum’s cast specimen of a Diplodocus, affectionately known as Dippy Diplodocus, has been seen by approximately 90 million visitors since 1905. However, in 2016 plans were unveiled for the dinosaur to be replaced by the real skeleton of a giant blue whale.
To mark the special episode of Profile which reflects on the historic exhibit, we thought we would lend a helping hand to Dippy, by writing a Curriculum Vitae acknowledging decades of experience greeting Museum visitors.
Diplodocus carnegii – I was named after the Scottish-born American industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
Date of birth:
Natural History Museum
I am an adaptable, enthusiastic celebrity with an enormous fan base, (and an enormous everything else, to be honest). For decades I was the greeter at the Natural History Museum, but following the sad decision to replace me with a blue whale skeleton (one cameo in Free Willy and he thinks he’s George Clooney), I am hoping for a new position, possibly in daytime television.
Not quite sure.
During World War II I took a sabbatical in the basement of the museum.
In 1979 I moved to Hintze Hall where I have remained ever since.
Starred in ‘Paddington’, ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing’, etc. Tribute act – Diplo.
I began my career with my head pointing downwards and my tail on the ground. Following a course on anatomy, I was adjusted: so my neck was raised in the 1960s, and in 1993, my tail was repositioned in order to maximise my dramatic appearance to fans.
I have been featured in newspaper cartoons, news reports and had starring roles in film and television. Happy to provide autographs, but I would ask that selfies be kept to a minimum. Can’t bear the flash.
By Royal appointment:
King Edward VII saw a sketch of my father and admired it, so I was created for His Majesty.
Special skills and talents:
Standing extremely still for very long periods, and being modular: I have a 292-bone skeleton. Allen keys not supplied.
I don’t travel well. I took up a whole train carriage and over 100 boxes last time they tried to move me. Mariah Carey’s got nothing on me.
Hobbies and interests:
Tennis, reading, cookery, reflecting advances in our understanding of dinosaur biology and evolution.
Discover more about Dippy Diplodocus in Profile, as Mark Coles examines how the replica Dinosaur has become a national treasure.