Dippy Facts

Hi! I’m Dippy the dinosaur, nice to meet you!

I’m a cast of a Diplodocus, one of the largest creatures ever to roam the earth and that lived about 150 million years ago!

I went on a tour of the UK and Norwich Cathedral was the final stop on my tour! In my exhibition, visitors learned more about dinosaurs, nature and the environment. Why don't you click on the tiles below to learn some facts about me!

Click on the tiles below to reveal the answers!

Download some Dippy fact sheets!

Download some Dippy fact sheets!

Are there other Diplodocus casts like Dippy?

Yes, there are 10 other Diplodocus casts like Dippy in museums around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and La Plata, Argentina.

Has Dippy changed over the years?

Yes, Dippy’s appearance has changed, reflecting advances in our understanding of dinosaur biology and evolution. Dippy’s head originally pointed downwards with the tail resting on the ground. Following new research in the 1960s, Dippy’s neck was raised to a horizontal position and, in 1993, the tail was repositioned to curve upwards.

How do you say Diplodocus?

Scientists say DIP-low-DOCK-us but you can also say dip-LOD-oh-cus or even dip-low-DOE-cus.

How long ago did Diplodocuses like Dippy live?

Diplodocuses like Dippy lived in the Late Jurassic Period around 150 million years ago, in the middle of the Mesozoic era, and they died out 145 million years ago. Other dinosaurs that lived in that period include Stegosaurus and Allosaurus. Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops lived much later, in the late Cretaceous period (100-66 million years ago).

How many bones does Dippy have?

Dippy has 292 bones (if his skull and jaw are counted as one). If you count the separate bones in Dippy’s skull, the total number of bones in his skeleton is 356. An adult human skeleton has 206 bones! Dippy has 15 vertebrae in his neck (most mammals today have no more than seven), 73 of bones in his tail and nearly 60 finger and toe bones in his hands and feet.

What does Diplodocus mean?

The name Diplodocus comes from the ancient Greek words diplos and dokus meaning ‘double beam’. This refers to the double-beamed chevron bones on the underside of the tail. Palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh named the Diplodocus, as well as Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus and Triceratops.

Is Dippy a real dinosaur fossil skeleton?

No, Dippy is a cast of parts from five different Diplodocus skeletons, including a fossil found by railroad workers in 1898 in Wyoming, USA. At the time, newspapers billed the discovery as the 'most colossal animal ever on Earth'.

What has Dippy been up to since he left the Natural History Museum?

Dippy visited eight locations around the country for Dippy on Tour and he was transported in 16 crates carried by a special vehicles. Norwich Cathedral was his final stop on the tour!

When Dippy left for his tour, what replaced him in the Natural History Museum?

Dippy was replaced by a blue whale skeleton which represents our responsibility for both pushing a living species to the brink of extinction but also our responsibility for its protection and recovery. Dippy and the blue whale are different parts of the same epic, inspiring story – the history of life on Planet Earth.

When was Dippy created?

Dippy was created between 1903 and 1904, and he arrived at the Natural History Museum in London in 1905. He was the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world.

Where was Dippy before he began his tour across the country?

From 1979 until 5 January 2017, Dippy took pride of place in the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall.

Why was Dippy created?

In 1902 King Edward VII saw a sketch of the Diplodocus while visiting Andrew Carnegie (the owner of the original fossil skeleton) at his Scottish castle and said how much he would like one for the Natural History Museum – and so Carnegie commissioned a replica cast of his dinosaur.

Dippy has been around a long time! How is he kept safe?

Dippy has a team of experienced and careful technicians and curators to look after him! He has been kept safe even in difficult times. During the Second World War, Dippy was disassembled and relocated to the basement of the Natural History Museum to protect it from bomb damage.

How big is Dippy?

Dippy is 26 metres long and would have weighed between 11 and 15 tonnes (11,000-15,000kg)! But his skull is tiny, just 61cm long.

How fast was Dippy?

It is thought that Dippy moved at about 5-9.3mph - so very slowly!

How long does it take to put Dippy back together again?

Dippy takes roughly a full week (about 49 hours) to build by a team of four technicians and two conservators.

Was Dippy a herbivore or a carnivore?

Dippy was a herbivore and had 46 teeth (human adults have 32 teeth) - Diplodocuses grew new teeth every 35 days!

What group of dinosaurs does Dippy belong to?

Dippy belongs to a group of dinosaurs known as sauropods, meaning ‘lizard feet.’ They are four-legged herbivores, which typically have long necks, barrel-shaped bodies, small heads and long, slender tails. They include the largest animals ever to have lived.

What is a dinosaur?

Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles that dominated life on land for more than 160 million years during the Mesozaic Era between 230 and 66 million years ago. They are some of the biggest creatures ever to have roamed the earth.

When did Dippy arrive in London?

Dippy arrived at the Natural History Museum in London in 1905 and was the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world.

Where is Dippy’s original fossil skeleton?

The original fossil skeleton that Dippy is based on is on display in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, USA. After the skeleton was found in Wyoming, USA, in 1899, Scottish-born millionaire businessman Andrew Carnegie acquired it to be a centrepiece for his then new museum.

Where would Dippy have lived as a dinosaur?

All Diplodocuses have been found in western USA – in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. When Diplodocuses were alive, the USA was part of the northern supercontinent Laurasia. What are now large areas of desert in these states, would, in the Jurassic Period, have been warm, green floodplains, teeming with life.

Who are Dippy’s closest living relatives?

All modern birds are Dippy’s closest living relatives. Modern birds are members of the theropod group, and sauropods (the group which Dippy belongs to) and theropods are different but related types of dinosaurs.

Dippy on Tour