Dippy the dinosaur is the Natural History Museum's iconic 26-metre-long Diplodocus which is currently touring the UK. He is a plaster cast of the fossilised bones of a Diplodocus found by railroad workers in Wyoming, USA in 1898, and took a full week to build by a team of four technicians and two conservators from the Natural History Museum.
The exhibition which runs alongside Dippy explores the uniqueness of our natural world and biodiversity across the island of Ireland as well as explaining why so few dinosaur fossils have ever been found here.
Aaron Ward, Head of Creative Engagement for National Museums NI, said: “The latest visitor figures, for the exhibition are fantastic and it is great to see so many visitors of all ages and from all over Ireland and beyond come to see Dippy in Belfast. Dippy has captured the imaginations of people for generations and it is very special that the Ulster Museum is the only place to see him on the island of Ireland.
“We are also delighted to hear the positive responses and visitors’ enthusiasm for the National Museums NI collections exhibited alongside Dippy such as fossils and the bugs, birds and mammals that live on our island.”
Aaron added: “Although we are encouraging visitors to pre-book their free tickets online to beat the queues, visitors can also come along and see Dippy at the Ulster Museum without tickets.”
The Ulster Museum exhibition captures the wonder of Dippy through the eyes of Senior Curator of Natural Sciences Dr Mike Simms, as a seven-year-old; the age he was when he first met Dippy in London at the Natural History Museum fifty years ago. The sight of Dippy fascinated Mike and led him to follow a career in palaeontology.
Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has been brought about by the Natural History Museum, in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.
Belfast is the third stop on an eight-venue-tour over almost three years which aims to introduce 1.5 million people to this fascinating exhibit, to inspire the next generation of scientists and to encourage families to explore nature on their doorstep.
The exhibition will be at the Ulster Museum until 6 January 2019. Tickets to the Dippy on Tour exhibition are free. To make a booking and for further information on the exhibition and all the Dippy events, visit www.nmni.com/dippy