A World of Possibilities

Year 11 Investigating Science students visited Taronga Zoo Institute to complete a Depth Study on observing animal behaviour as part of their coursework.

Students were part of a training session for a Fluffy Tailed Possum, where they observed a range of animals and conducted “ethograms”. (Ethograms are used to study animals over time to learn what behaviours are typical, which ones are abnormal, and to monitor the health and stability of a group through group interactions.)

The students’ favourite animals, not generally seen by the public, were the Pygmy Marmoset Monkeys, the smallest monkey in the world. Students observed behaviours, conducting an ethogram at feeding time, where there was plenty of frenzied activity!

Mr Peter Wilson, SGCS Science Teacher said:

We had a great day as not only did the students gain hands on experience, conducting real-time research with live animals, they also benefited from seeing scientists as work in high-level technological laboratories. It opened their minds to the possibilities that they too, could pursue scientific studies at tertiary level with a focus on protecting animals.

Image: Zookeeper with Yellow Belly Glider