You know that weak-in-the-knees, bugs-in-your-stomach feeling you get when you’ve been truly surprised?
Well, multiply that by Oprah-level shock and awe and you might know how we feel about our new Diplodocus, Sleeping Beauty.
This visiting specimen — on loan from New York’s Dinosauria International — was uncovered about five years ago in Tensleep, Wy., and excavated with the help of our own Associate Curator of Paleontology, David Temple. She was nicknamed in the field for her position in the rock.
Like the other interactive, progressive mounts in our new Hall of Paleontology, Sleeping Beauty was mounted in a life-like pose, reared up on her hind legs with her long neck soaring to the ceiling. In life, Diplodoci would have reared up like this to reach high food or defend themselves, rather than craning their necks as depicted in more traditional poses.
Designed as natural tripods, Diplodocus’ center of gravity was significantly toward the rear, and its mount design is meant to provide a focal point for the paleo hall. She is, as Dr. Robert T. Bakker puts it “the tentpole of the Jurassic Period.”
If Sleeping Beauty looks familiar, it might be because our other Diplodocus, Dipsy, resides in the old paleo hall. Sleeping Beauty is an even more complete specimen — she’s almost all-bone, and contains preserved parts that have never before been seen in a Diplodocus specimen.
Watch a time-lapse video of Sleeping Beauty’s installation below:
Our new Hall of Paleontology opens to members May 25 and to the public June 2.