Members of a Crewkerne geology group met Dippy the Dinosaur at Dorchester Museum. The famous dinosaur which is normally kept at the Natural History Museum in London, has begun a two-year tour of the UK, starting in Dorset famed for its Jurassic Coast and being the birthplace of the study of fossils. Dippy is a 70ft long replica cast of the skeleton of a diplodocus, which lived around 150 million years ago. The full sized model of the dinosaur’s skeleton, which covers the ground floor at Dorchester Museum, made a big impression on the 49 members of the Crewkerne & District U3A geology group. Group member Liz Randall said: “It really is very impressive. We were astonished to hear that being herbivorous and eating all day long, the diplodocus grew new teeth every 35 days.” Members found it impossible to get all of Dippy into one photograph due to its size and its small head being located behind a perspex screen that overhangs one end of the gallery.
The skeleton of Dippy was discovered by railway workers at Wyoming in the USA in 1898. It was acquired by the rich industrialist Andrew Carnegie for his own natural history museum in Pittsburgh. When a drawing of the dinosaur’s skeleton was seen by King Edward VII at Carnegie’s Scottish castle in 1902, the industrialist agreed to donate a plaster of paris cast to the Natural History Museum in London, which was unveiled to the public in 1905. The Dippy the Diplodocus exhibition runs at Dorchester Museum until May 7th, 2018. Members of the Crewkerne geology group also visited the geology, archaeology and rural life sections of the museum in Dorchester as well as the replica of Thomas Hardy’s study at Max Gate.