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Evolution & Adaptations Virtual Tour

Using real-world examples of animals at the zoo and park, your class will develop their understanding of mutations, (Higher: 1.6), natural selection (Nat 5: 3.4), speciation (Higher: 1.7), and physical, physiological and behavioural adaptations (Nat 4: 3.5).

Age Suitability: Secondary 1 - 6

Location: Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park

Lesson Duration: 1 hour

Maximum Class Size: 33


Session Outline

Take our virtual tour to learn about animal adaptations and match the theories behind survival with our real-life examples. During the session, your class will have the opportunity to see the adaptations in action and interact with activities to secure their understanding.

Supporting resources to use in your classroom are available for free to enhance your virtual tour, including games, challenges and flash cards.

Session Outcomes

To understand how mutations and sexual reproduction lead to adaptations.

To understand that animals have adaptations that increase their fitness based on environmental pressures, by increasing survival and/or reproductive success.

To appreciate that the diversity of life around us has all evolved from a single common ancestor over billions of years through speciation.


Curriculum Links
  • SCN 2-01a ‘I can relate physical and behavioural characteristics to survival or extinction.’ · SCN 3-05b ‘I understand the impact of climate change on survival of living things.’
  • SCN 4-01a ‘I understand how living things are adapted for survival.’
  • SCN 4-12b ‘I can explain how learned behaviours are beneficial to the survival of the species.’
  • Nat 4 2.4 - Genetic Information
  • Nat 4 3.5 - Adaptations for Survival
  • Nat 4 3.6 - Learned behaviour… linked to species survival
  • Nat 5 3.1.e - Ecological Niche
  • Nat 5 3.4.a - Mutations
  • Nat 5 3.4.b - Variation driven Evolution
  • Nat 5 3.4.c - Natural Selection
  • Nat 5 3.4.d - Speciation
  • Nat 5 3.5 - Human impact on the environment
  • Higher 1.6.d - Importance of mutation and gene duplication in evolution
  • Higher 1.7.a - Evolution
  • Higher 1.7.c - Natural Selection (and sexual selection)
  • Higher 1.7.d - Speciation Higher 3.8.d - Climate change and impact on biodiversity
  • Adv. Higher 2.2.a.iii - Coevolution
  • Adv. Higher 2.2.c.ii - Courtship, Sexual Selection