If you’re planning a visit to the Natural History Museum, one of the highlights you won’t want to miss is the dinosaur exhibit. There are several impressive specimens on display, but one that stands out is the skeleton of a Diplodocus.
The Diplodocus Skeleton
The Diplodocus is a long-necked dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, around 156-145 million years ago. The specimen on display at the Natural History Museum is a cast of a Diplodocus skeleton that was originally discovered in Wyoming in 1898 by a team led by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh.
The Diplodocus was one of the largest land animals to ever exist, reaching lengths of up to 90 feet (27 meters) and weighing as much as 25 tons. The skeleton on display at the museum is an impressive 87 feet (26.5 meters) long and stands at over 26 feet (8 meters) tall.
The Diplodocus is known for its long neck and tail, which made up about two-thirds of its total length. Its neck alone had 15 vertebrae, each about two feet long. Despite its massive size, it had a relatively small head and brain.
The skeleton on display at the museum has been reconstructed with some missing bones replaced with replicas based on other specimens. However, it still provides an accurate representation of what this impressive creature would have looked like in life.
The Diplodocus skeleton has been on display at the Natural History Museum since 1905 and has become one of its most iconic exhibits. In fact, it was one of the first dinosaur skeletons to be put on public display anywhere in the world.
Over time, scientific understanding of dinosaurs has evolved and some aspects of how we think of the Diplodocus have changed. For example, it was once believed that it held its long neck upright like a giraffe, but now it’s thought that it held its neck out horizontally.
The Diplodocus skeleton at the Natural History Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in dinosaurs or natural history in general. Its impressive size and anatomy make it a fascinating specimen to study, and its history as one of the first dinosaur skeletons on public display only adds to its allure.
If you’re planning a visit to the museum, be sure to set aside some time to explore the dinosaur exhibit and marvel at this magnificent creature from millions of years ago.