Farewell Dippy the dinosaur -- London museum installs whale skeleton

LONDON (Reuters) - London's Natural History Museum has installed a four-and-a-half-ton blue whale skeleton to tower over the heads of visitors, replacing the remains of a much-loved diplodocus known as Dippy.

The whale's bones, which were bought in 1892 for 250 pounds, have been suspended mid-air with the head lowered and jaw gaping as if it is about to scoop up tourists.

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Giant blue whale skeleton at London's Natural History Museum
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Giant blue whale skeleton at London's Natural History Museum
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum in London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum in London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A giant blue whale skeleton is unveiled in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, London, Britain July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A detail of 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A detail of a 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A 25.2 metre (83-foot) blue whale skeleton is pictured suspended from the ceiling after being unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London on July 13, 2017. 'Hope' the blue whale takes over from 'Dippy' the dinosaur as the centrepiece of the revamped atrium of London's Natural History Museum despite a spirited campaign to keep the much-loved attraction. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum on July 13, 2017 in London, England. The 126-year-old skeleton, named 'Hope', replaces 'Dippy' the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum's main exhibit. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum on July 13, 2017 in London, England. The 126-year-old skeleton, named 'Hope', replaces 'Dippy' the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum's main exhibit. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum on July 13, 2017 in London, England. The 126-year-old skeleton, named 'Hope', replaces 'Dippy' the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum's main exhibit. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum on July 13, 2017 in London, England. The 126-year-old skeleton, named 'Hope', replaces 'Dippy' the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum's main exhibit. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
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The 82-foot long skeleton will greet people as they enter the building's Hintze Hall from Friday - a new display highlighting the institution's conservation work.

Dippy - or more accurately a cast of the dinosaur's bones - is now due to embark of a tour of museums around Britain.

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Dippy the dinosaur
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Dippy the dinosaur

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

"Dippy", the moulded resin replica of a fossilised Diplodocus stands in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London, January 29, 2015. One of Britain's most-loved museum exhibits, the skeleton-cast of Dippy the Diplodocus dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London, is to be replaced, much to the distress of its many fans. The museum announced on Thursday that Dippy, who has graced its cathedral-like central hall for 35 years, will make way for the bones of a blue whale that has been hanging in a different hall since 1938.

(REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge poses with pupils from Oakington Manor Primary School, Wembley, in front of Dippy the Diplodocus, as she attends a children's tea party with pupils from Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley, at the Natural History Museum to celebrate Dippy the Diplodocus's time in Hintze Hall on November 22, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long (plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with pupils from Oakington Manor Primary School, Wembley, in front of Dippy the Diplodocus, as she attends a children's tea party with pupils from Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley, at the Natural History Museum to celebrate Dippy the Diplodocus's time in Hintze Hall on November 22, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long (21.3m) plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'Dippy' the Diplodocus stands in the great hall at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Members of the public walk walk around 'Dippy' the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum on January 4, 2017 in London, England. The 70ft long plaster-cast sauropod replica, which is made up of 292 bones, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in London, where it has been for 109 years, before going on a national tour. Dippy will be replaced by an 83 foot long real skeleton of a Blue Whale, which will be hung from the ceiling.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Circa 1950: Experts re-erecting a Diplodocus dinosaur at the Natural History Museum after it has come out of storage where it was placed during World War II.

(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

"Dippy", the moulded resin replica of a fossilised Diplodocus stands in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London, January 29, 2015. One of Britain's most-loved museum exhibits, the skeleton-cast of Dippy the Diplodocus dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London, is to be replaced, much to the distress of its many fans. The museum announced on Thursday that Dippy, who has graced its cathedral-like central hall for 35 years, will make way for the bones of a blue whale that has been hanging in a different hall since 1938.

(REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

Visitors stream past "Dippy", the moulded resin replica of a fossilised Diplodocus in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London, January 29, 2015. One of Britain's most-loved museum exhibits, the skeleton-cast of Dippy the Diplodocus dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London, is to be replaced, much to the distress of its many fans. The museum announced on Thursday that Dippy, who has graced its cathedral-like central hall for 35 years, will make way for the bones of a blue whale that has been hanging in a different hall since 1938.

(REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

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(Reporting by Arese Joe-Oshodi; Editing by William Schomberg)

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