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Animal Behaviour Virtual Tour

Using a unique blended approach, your class can gain access to a live virtual tour and our Animal Behaviour Hub to examine the complex structures (Higher: 2.6) and communications of primate families (Higher: 3.6) and other species.

Combining this session with our Hub enables your pupils to observe and record data on our animals for their own behavioural study (Adv. Higher: 2.1 & 3.2).

The session also demonstrates how RZSS’s on-site research allows us to improve welfare of animals in our care (Higher: 3.4).

Age Suitability: Secondary 1 - 6

Location: Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park

Lesson Duration: 1 hour

Maximum Class Size: 33


Session Outline

Discover the world of animal behaviour via our virtual tour of the park or zoo. Your class will be introduced to primate species, focusing on their social structures and communicative behaviours. After developing an understanding of behavioural research on the tour, your pupils will also have access to resources and guidance to design and complete their own studies using our webcams or during a self-led trip.

Supporting resources to use in your classroom are available for free to enhance your virtual tour, including access to our unique Animal Behaviour Hub and our Submit Space where your class can receive feedback on their studies and findings.

Session Outcomes

To understand that the primate family is a diverse group of related organisms and a family that includes humans.

To understand a range of primate behaviours.

To acknowledge that research can be used to increase animal welfare as well as our understanding of species.

Extension: To be able to design an observational study on animal behaviour and carry out a pilot study of the chosen species.

Curriculum Links
  • SCN 2-01a – ‘I can classify examples of living things, past & present. Relate physical and behavioural characteristics to survival.’
  • SCN 4-01a – ‘I understand living things are adapted for survival.’
  • SCN 4-12b – ‘Through investigation, I can explain how changes in learned behaviour due to internal and external stimuli are of benefit to the survival of species.’
  • SCN 2-14a – ‘By investigating the lifecycles of plants and animals, I can recognise the different stages of their development.’
  • SCN 2-14b – ‘By exploring the characteristics offspring inherit when living things reproduce, I can distinguish between inherited and non-inherited characteristics.’
  • SCN 4-14a – ‘Through investigation, I can compare and contrast how different organisms grow and develop.’
  • Nat 4 2.4 – Growth & Development of Organisms
  • Nat 4 3.5 – Adaptations for Survival
  • Nat 4 3.6 – Learned Behaviour Research group/cultural/social/territorial behaviour, eg robins, Japanese macaques. Use data to produce a graph/chart of daily activities. Research examples of innate and learned behavioural adaptations which lead to species survival such as swarming, huddling, imprinting, migration, communication.
  • Nat 5 3.2.e – Competition in Ecosystems
  • Nat 5 3.3.a – Sampling Techniques
  • Nat 5 3.3.b – Evaluation of limitations
  • Nat 5 3.3.d – Minimizing Sources of Error
  • Higher 3.4.a – Animal Welfare
  • Higher 3.4.b – Observing Behaviour
  • Higher 3.6.a – Social Behaviour
  • Higher 3.6.b – Kin Selection
  • Higher 3.6.d – Primate Behaviour Case study on primate behaviour
  • Human 1.2.d.i - Sequencing DNA, information on evolutionary relationships & origins
  • Human 3.2.a.ii - Socialisation and learning
  • Human 3.2.b.ii - Transmission of knowledge and Social Evolution
  • Adv. Higher 2.1.c - Identification and Classification
  • Adv. Higher 2.1.e - Measuring & Recording Animal Behaviour Ethograms and time sampling to compare the behaviour of different individuals of a species
  • Adv. Higher 3.1.a – Scientific Method
  • Adv. Higher 3.2.a – Pilot Study
  • Adv. Higher 3.2.c – Experimental Design