Three students examine an animal skull at Melbourne Zoo. Animal skull has mouth open and students are looking at and feeling the sharp teeth.

Animal Adaptations and Features

Year levels

Year 5, Year 6


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students


Aboriginal Culture, Adaptations, Australian Animals, Ecosystems / Habitats, Endangered Species

Students can learn about an animal’s environment and behaviour through the power of observation, this can help us all to understand how we might help wildlife and fight extinction.

Program description

In Animal Adaptations and Features, students will discover the connections between animals past and present – their structural features, adaptations and dependence on delicate ecosystems for survival. 

Students will analyse skulls, explore artefacts and visit zoo habitats to understand the complex world of animals. Students can use their newfound understanding of animal adaptations to identify features, classify the incredible creatures at the zoo and discover the connections between all living things. Could an understanding of animal adaptations help them to learn how to care for the world’s wildlife? 

Students will learn: 

  • How to observe the structural and behavioural adaptations of animals to survive in their environment 
  • About ecosystems and what animals need to thrive in their environment 
  • The impact of humans on places, habitats and ecosystems 

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity before their zoo visit. 

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will be challenged to classify animals, determine what adaptations they have to help them survive and what threats they are facing in the wild. By understanding what animals require to thrive in the wild, students will learn how they can adapt their behaviour to ensure species survival. 

Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:40am – 10am), Zoo Teacher workshop (40 minutes) and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo. 

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program resources


Animal Adaptations and Features Teaching Guide *coming soon*

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 5-6


Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074) 

  • Through insightful observations, students will learn about structural and behavioural adaptations and how they help animals to survive in their environment 

The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075) 

  • Students will learn about the fragile nature of ecosystems, what animals need to thrive in their environment 

Describe and explain interconnections within places and between places, and the effects of these interconnections (VCGGC087) 

  • Students will learn about the impact of humans on places, habitats and ecosystems 

Plan your excursion 

Animal Adaptations and Features is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. 

School groups will enter Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More Information. 

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. 

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

  • Education program of your choice
  • Preferred excursion date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level