Make your own Dippy the Diplodocus skull
Fancy displaying your own dinosaur skull at home? Well now you can - just cut and fold this paper model.
Diplodocus was one of the biggest and best-known sauropod dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic Period. Sauropods were huge plant eaters that walked on four legs and had long necks and long tails.
The skull of Dippy, the Museum's much-loved Diplodocus, was laser scanned by our Imaging and Analysis Centre team. We used the scan data to design a miniature paper model.
Dippy's actual skull is 61 centimetres long, probably a bit too big for most shelves, but hopefully this tiny version will fit.
What to do:
- Print out the Diplodocus skull paper model PDF (5.9MB).
- Cut around the outline of the model and tabs.
- Fold along the dotted lines.
- Join up parts of the skull picture so that it makes a 3D shape.
- Add glue to the white tabs and stick them to the underside of the corresponding bit of skull. You might find it easiest to start with the two small triangular tabs at the back of the skull (next to the thin rectangle) and then the two longest tabs.
What a mouthful
As you'll be able to see from your model, Dippy's narrow, pencil-like teeth are arranged like a rake. Scientists have shown that this helped Diplodocus strip leaves from gingko and conifer trees. The dinosaur had to eat all day to survive on just leaves.
Over its lifetime Diplodocus grew far more teeth than a person does. We only have two sets: milk teeth and adult teeth.
Our ability to grow new teeth stops after we develop our adult teeth, but Diplodocus continued to replace its delicate teeth throughout its life, at a rate of one tooth every 35 days. Without this, the dinosaur would have eventually lost all its teeth, and the ability to eat.