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The whale skeleton has replaced Dippy the Diplodocus, which first went on display in 1979.

For its new display, the skeleton is suspended in the divine lunging feeding position and is the first blue whale skeleton to be shown that way.

The museum is hoping the whale will help realign the NHM's image as a place of living science rather than just old fossils, with active research going on at the museum on a daily basis.

Blue whales were hunted to the brink of extinction by humans, but were also the first species we made a decision to save too.

The web app is expected to go live in time with the opening of the new exhibition on July 14, as part of a number of digital materials focussing on Hintze Hall.

The Duchess of Cambridge will join Sir David Attenborough for her official unveiling later today, before the hall reopens to the public tomorrow.

Hintze Hall has another 10 new displays all chosen from the museum's collection of more than 80 million specimens.

Dressed in a pale blue Preen Everly dress, paired with a purple clutch bag, Cassandra Goad earrings and Prada wavy strap sandals, the mother-of-two told the audience: 'Like many of you here tonight, I remember visiting the Natural History Museum as a child, and being inspired with a love of nature.

"In her stunning new home, she is even more spectacular".

Up until recently the whale skeleton had been hanging in the mammals gallery.

However, a #SaveDippy campaign on Twitter failed to change museum director Sir Michael Dixon's mind.

Fans of Dippy need not despair as the replica will in any case be preserved for posterity in a bronze cast to be placed outside the museum.

The Natural History Museum has unveiled its first major refurbishment since the 1970s, transforming architect Alfred Waterhouse's Hintze Hall at the entrance to the museum.


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