Museum of Zoology: School Visits

All bookings are subject to change in accordance with government guidance.

There is no charge for our standard school sessions, but donations are welcomed to support the Museum learning programme (recommended donation of £3 per child).

If you are a UK based school wishing to visit the Museum with your class, please use the booking form to make a request. Please note that the Museum is closed on Mondays. We advise submitting a request at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid disappointment and allow time to receive a confirmation.

Ancient Maya Rituals and Beliefs

Rituals and Beliefs focuses on the scene from a plaster cast taken of a stone lintel from the doorway of a temple in the city of Yaxchilan, now in modern day Mexico, and dating from 709AD.

The images depict a blood-letting ritual being performed by Lady K'ab'al Xook and her husnabd King Shield Jaguar. Lady K'ab'al Xook can be seen pulling a rope of thorns through her tongue in order to collect blood in a bowl filled with bark paper. Both figures are wearing jade and obsidian jewellery and dressed in resplendent costumes made fo fur and elaborate fabrics. 

Build-a-bird activity

An adaptation is when part of the body becomes specialised for a certain function that means the animal has a better chance of survival in a particular environment.

The Wonderchicken research team have put together a craft activity and information sheets about different types of bird and how they have adapted to the environment they live in.

You will need:

Wonderchicken

Asteriornis maastrichtensis, affectionately known as the Wonderchicken, is among the most exciting bird fossils ever found. It has one of the best-preserved fossil bird skulls in the world, and gives us important insights into the evolutionary origins of modern birds.

Bag of bones

It is really unusual for a palaeontologist (scientist who study fossils) to find a complete skeleton with all the bones in the right place. We are more likely to find only a few bones or a jumbled up skeleton.

Putting a skeleton back to together when you know what the animal looks like can be a challenge, but imagine how hard that becomes when there are no more of those creatures alive for you look at. It is a bit like trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together when you don’t have the photo on the box as a guide.

Here be Dragons!

Dragons do not only populate the myths and legends of the past, but also the world around us.

Komodo dragon with tongue out

Zoology PhD student Tom Jameson takes us on a journey of discovery with the world's largest reptiles.

Penguin Origami

It’s estimated that there are about 20 million penguins in Antarctica. When it’s really cold they huddle together to keep warm. The most extreme huddle ever recorded was 19 Emperor penguins within a square metre!

Have a go at making your own penguin. All you need is some paper, and a pen for drawing on the eyes.

Download instructions

Make a narwhal

The narwhal is a relative of the beluga whale. Both types of whale are medium sized and live in Arctic waters all year round. They are sometimes called unicorns of the sea because of their long spiralled tusk.

This pack includes a pattern to download and step by step instructions for making your own narwhal.

Download activity