Guided sessions for classes 9–10

Adapting to habitats

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

Mammals are able to adapt their physical structure and behaviour in many ways to endure extreme habitats such as the desert of the arctic regions. We look at the conditions of the very diverse habitats and clarify issues such as, among others: Which animals live there? Which physical characteristics do animals have that exhibit signs of adaptation? We also discuss ecological principles related to this.

Subject area 1

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Subject area 2

  • Sun – weather – seasons
  • Adaptedness of an animal to its habitat: Animals of a climate zone

Sensory capabilities and sensory perceptions

Communication in the animal kingdom

Animals can't speak, but they can still communicate. This guided session explains what communication is, which forms it takes and which species prefer which channels. Here we consider the advantages and disadvantages of individual communication channels and also pay attention to the content. We also illustrate the significance of the highly sophisticated sensory organs in part and their biological benefits.

Subject area:

  • Sensory perceptions

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


We begin with an introduction in the Zoo School, where the most important terms of evolution are explained illustratively. The pupils are then able to comprehend the most important theoretical concepts concerning animals using specific examples. We cover homology/analogy, co-evolution, convergence, selection, species identity, speciation as well as evolutionary theories.

Subject area:

  • Evolutionary theories and indications

Our primate heritage (the 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:

  • Human evolution

Hunter and hunted – hunting and survival strategies in the animal kingdom

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:

  • Animal behaviour

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 selected species, 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

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.

Occupational orientation

Animal management and animal care in zoological gardens

A zoo is far more than just a park with animals. Together we talk about the various tasks of modern zoos, taking on a deeper and more practical insight into the animal care of zoological gardens by answering questions such as: What is species-appropriate management? Which habitat, food and activity demands do the animals have? How do you design enclosures that are as close to nature as possible?