Guided sessions for classes 11 - 13

Physiological principles of selected life processes

Observing the social behaviour of primates

The three-hour guided session begins with an introduction in which the pupils are taught the basics of behavioural research, including benefits and methods. They get to know the animals while walking through the Monkey House. The pupils record social behaviour data by observing the various species of monkeys during the independent study phase, which is then evaluated and discussed together in the Zoo School. We also compare gender differences and social systems of the various groups of monkeys. (This guided session is also suitable for project days)

Subject area:

  • Animal behaviour

Reproductive strategies

Reproduction is the primary objective in the animal kingdom next to survival. They thereby employ various strategies, which depend on the respective social systems, among others. Together we explore the methods and tricks of the animals, which ensure the reproductive success of both the males and females.

Subject area:

  • Behaviour of the animals, r and k strategies and reproductive success


To aid in their daily struggle for survival, both the hunter and the hunted are perfectly equipped and have developed specific behavioural strategies to survive. Predators and prey often have a little 'bag of tricks' to lead others astray and to gain the upper hand. Together we cast our eye over the animals to determine which methods and strategies they use.

Subject area:

  • Evolutionary theories and indications

Our primate heritage (evolution of man)

We take a close look at the family tree of the primates and try to comprehend the most important evolutionary steps of our ancestors. How did we develop into humans? When and how did we come to walk upright? We take the pupils to visit our relatives in the Monkey House and discuss these questions through observing the characteristics of the living beings.

Subject area:

  • Origin of man through adapting to living conditions
  • Origin and change in the diversity of life: Human evolution

Ecology and sustainability

Biodiversity, species extinction and species conservation

Our planet is blessed with enormous biodiversity and special habitats. What impact do humans have on this diversity and why is the extinction of species so rapid in modern times? We explain those breeding programmes of the zoo, which are intended to play a role in combating animal extinction. In situ species conservation programmes are also introduced in the process, and we discuss these together with the pupils.

Subject area:

  • Interactions between humans and the environment

Climate change and its impact on the animal world

In times gone by, animals had time to adapt to their natural environment – today most of them are struggling to survive in the face of a rapidly changing climate. We look specifically at polar bears, lions, the local star and the Antarctic penguin, we highlight both the impact of climate change as well as the strategies that the animals employ, in order to endure the changes in their living environment. Together we work out the causes of climate change and reflect upon what each and everyone of us can do to work against it.

Learning objective:

  • Causes and impacts of climate change

Adapting to the Arctic Circle as a habitat compared to the desert

Both survival in the polar regions as well as in the desert is an extreme challenge for all the animals living there. After looking at the various conditions of these extreme habitats, we clear up which particular physical characteristics and behaviour demonstrates signs of animal adaptedness, or how polar bears and antelopes could survive in the desert, among other things. We discuss ecological rules, functions such as protection against the cold, heat emission and water consumption by looking at living specimens.

Subject area:

  • Adapting to extreme habitats