Dippy the Diplodocus up for 'adoption': Could you find a home for a dinosaur?

Bryony Jones, CNNPublished 21st July 2015
Diplodocus skeleton, National History Museum
London (CNN) — Do you have a bit of space to spare? Is it big enough to house a truly vast visitor? If so, you could be in with a chance of bagging yourself a really big roommate.
Dippy the Diplodocus, the most famous dinosaur in Britain, is looking for a new home.
Dippy has spent decades alternately terrifying passing schoolkids and teaching them about the wonders of the natural world at London's Natural History Museum -- and even starred in hit movie "One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing" along the way.
Now, after more than a century on display, Dippy is about to be "retired" from its prime spot in the venue's main Hinze Hall, to be replaced by a blue whale skeleton.
But the museum's bosses don't want the bones -- actually casts of the original fossils of the Diplodocus carnegii discovered in Wyoming in 1898 -- gathering dust in a back room or packed into crates and shoved into storage.
Instead they hope to continue inspiring future generations of scientists and nature-lovers by taking it on tour around the UK -- and they're looking for venues for it to visit.
"For many of us, that first glimpse of Dippy was a formative moment in our childhood, evoking awe and a genuine wonder at the natural world," explained museum director Michael Dixon.
He said he hoped taking the 21.3-meter long, 4.25-meter high skeleton to all corners of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would "prompt curiosity and a desire to explore."

Nationwide appeal

The museum has appealed to sites across the country to get in touch if they would like Dippy to stay with them for four to six months at a time, from 2018.
Anyone who offers the 292-bone dinosaur a new home will need to take good care of it -- the skeleton will need to be dismantled and rebuilt at each new location.
"Dippy needs to be handled carefully," Dixon insisted. "It has taken our conservators several months to be sure that, with care and the right systems in place, it would be possible to tour."
The dinosaur will be the largest item the Natural History Museum has ever loaned out for display; Dixon says it is determined to open up its collections and make them more accessible to the public.