Danger and adventure in the tale of Dippy

01 April 2010

Discover danger and adventure in the harsh American Wild West, and a story that goes back 150 million years, in the Natural History Museum’s new book Dippy: The Tale of a Museum Icon.

‘Dippy’ is the affectionate nickname given to the 26-metre-long Diplodocus skeleton that dominates the Museum’s Central Hall. The dinosaur is an icon that has astonished visitors and scientists for over 100 years and has had many TV appearances including the current BBC’s Museum of Life series.

But how did Dippy end up in the Central Hall? This new book, written by Museum scientists, reveals Dippy’s fascinating story.

Dippy: The tale of a Museum Icon book

Dippy: The tale of a Museum Icon book

Dippy’s journey to the Museum

It starts in the early 1800s when the first huge dinosaur fossils were uncovered in the UK and America and explains how these astonishing new creatures got their new name.

The story of Dippy’s journey to the London Museum includes some dangerous rivalry between the American fossil hunters, sometimes with gun fights! It also includes the generosity of an eccentric millionaire, Andrew Carnegie, and British royal, King Edward VII.

Latest research

The latest research on Diplodocus, including how the position of its head, neck and tail has changed, is described in the book. It explains how new techniques, as well as more fossil discoveries, can reveal new information about this group of sauropods, who lived in the Late Jurassic period.

About the authors

Dippy: The Tale of a Museum Icon is by Paul Barrett, Polly Parry and Sandra Chapman.

Dr Paul Barrett is a dinosaur fossil expert in the Museum’s Palaeontology Department. He is the author of National Geographic Dinosaurs and is a regular contributor to books, journals and magazines on the study of dinosaurs.

Polly Parry is the Museum Archivist and Records Manager and has an in-depth knowledge of the building’s history, its collections and people.

Sandra Chapman is a curator in the Museum’s Palaeontology Department.

Buy Dippy book now

Dippy: The Tale of a Museum Icon is beautifully illustrated throughout with photos and illustrations and is for sale in the online shop.

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Read more about Dippy

Dippy book

Go on an engaging tale of discovery in Dippy, a book published by the Museum. 

Discover the famous cast, its history and importance and read about one of the longest land animals ever to walk the Earth.

Buy Dippy online

Browse all Dinosaur books