Encounters of an animal kind

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Encounters of an animal kind

National Science Week

As part of National Science Week, the Biology Department organised an ‘animal encounters’ visit for the Fourth Form with the help of Chris Johnson from the South West Animal Service.

The session kicked off with a Madagascan tortoise that was allowed to roam free around the Andrews Hall.

Next up, came the snakes: a black king and a boa. The bravest pupils volunteered to hold the snakes. In fact, most of the class wanted to try and they were shocked by how heavy they were.

When presented the ‘Rainbow’ chameleon, the pupils correctly identified that it had such a bright colouration, it couldn’t have been for camouflage; it was in fact for attracting a mate or warning off other males.

The only mammal amongst the animals on show was a tenrec, which the pupils likened most with a hedgehog – it had similar spines for protection, however, this evolved separately to our known mammalian friends.

Finally, Chris brought out a beautiful barn owl, and the fourth formers picked out her adaptations and how that would help her to catch prey.

Over lunchtime, pupils from the Third Form right up to the Upper Sixth visited and held the animals, and even staff got involved, particularly the Science Technicians who were also enthralled by the animals.

Thanks to Chris and his menagerie for the wonderful experience.