From January 22, The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow will be saying a massive hello to Dippy. Sarah-Jayne Forster tells us more:
A short history of Dippy
In 1898, a near-complete skeleton of a Diplodocus was uncovered in Wyoming. Belonging to a group called the sauropods, these massive dinosaurs lived in what is now North America between 156 and 145 million years ago, during the Jurassic period. Andrew Carnegie, the Dunfermline-born millionaire, acquired the skeleton for his museum in Pittsburgh, and when it was recognised as a new species, it was named Diplodocus carnegii in his honour.
Carnegie commissioned 10 plaster cast replicas of the Diplodocus, and donated one to the Natural History Museum in London. When it was unveiled in May 1905, Dippy quickly became a favourite with visitors, and even went on to appear in films such as Paddington, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, and Night at the Museum 3.
Dippy is made up of 292 bones and when on display is 21.3m long, 4.3m wide and 4.25m high. In 2016 the Natural History Museum announced that Dippy would be replaced by a blue whale skeleton, allowing the iconic dinosaur to go on tour.
Dippy at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
We are very excited about Dippy the Diplodocus coming to Glasgow! We know that dinosaurs really capture people’s imaginations, especially children’s, and can kindle an early love of animals. This is especially important in the age of technology, when children are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature. Having such a large dinosaur on display will highlight how impressive these creatures really were and give an idea of scale not possible from books or films. Dippy will hopefully inspire children to love these animals as well as living animals, and maybe even think about a conservation career in the future.
Dinosaurs are the first animals children associate with extinction events, which are sadly, not a thing of the past. While Dippy is with us, we’ll be running events that link the extinction of the dinosaurs with animals that are currently under threat of extinction. Evolutionally, birds are linked very closely to dinosaurs and there is a lot of evidence that some dinosaurs such as the Theropods were actually covered in feathers. We’ll be running some exciting activities suitable for older children, to look at the evolution of birds and the species Archaeopteryx and Sinosauropteryx, which are known as the ‘missing links’ between dinosaurs and birds.
Towards the end of Dippy’s stay, over the Easter Holidays, we’ll be running family activities inside and outside the museum to highlight all the amazing wildlife on our doorstep, with plenty of fun to keep the little ones inspired about dinosaurs and nature. This will culminate in a bioblitz on April 28, when we’re hoping that lots of people will come along to help us look for and record Glasgow’s wildlife. Keep an eye out for more information on that closer to the time.
RSPB Scotland has been working in partnership with the Kelvingrove Museum since 2007. We run events in the museum at least three times a week, including family weekend events and a toddler group. We help interpret the museum’s extensive natural history collection to the public and link the specimens to conservation issues the animals face in the wild and with the wildlife found in the park on the doorstep of the museum.
For a full list of the Dippy events please see our website https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/glasgow/events.aspx
Dippy is free to see and will be in the centre hall of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum between 22 January and 6 May.
Download the Dippy leaflet here:
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