By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News
London’s Natural History Museum is re-modelling its entrance, moving out the dinosaur and moving in a blue whale.
The exchange will not happen overnight: the complex logistics involved mean it will be 2017 before the great cetacean is hanging from the ceiling of the iconic Victorian Hintze Hall.
The museum thinks the change will increase the wow factor for visitors.
But it also believes the whale can better convey all the cutting-edge science conducted at the institution.
That is something a plaster-cast model of a Diplodocus skeleton – as familiar and as popular as it has become – can no longer do effectively.
“Everyone loves ‘Dippy’, but it’s just a copy,” commented Sir Michael Dixon, the NHM’s director, “and what makes this museum special is that we have real objects from the natural world – over 80 million of them – and they enable our scientists and thousands like them from around the world to do real research.”
It feels like Dippy the Diplodocus has always guarded the entrance, but in fact it only took up position in the 1970s
The 25m-long blue whale skeleton currently hangs in the mammals gallery.
Source:: BBC Entertainment