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 the 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.

Let’s analyse skulls, explore artefacts and visit zoo exhibits 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?

With student and teacher resources to enhance the learning experience before, during and after your Zoo visit, Animal Adaptations and Features, brings the science of the animal kingdom to life. 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.

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
Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day (arrivals between 9.40 - 10am) 10 minutes
Classification workshop with Melbourne Zoo teacher 
40 minutes
Student-led inquiry Optional
Explore the Zoo – visit animal exhibits, attend educational keeper talks
1 - 4 hours

Program resources

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 5 – 6

Science Understanding

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
Geographical Concepts and Skills

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 via Rail Gate. The organising teacher must present their booking confirmation to Admission staff prior to students and remaining teachers entering the Zoo. More information

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