Topic outline

  • Animal Behaviour

    Snow Monkey

    What is animal behaviour?

    Animal Behaviour is the scientific study of the wild and wonderful ways in which animals interact with each other, with other living things, and with their environment.

    Why do we study animal behaviour?

    Watching how animals behave in zoos can help us give them better care, keep an eye on their health and help them to breed to conserve species. It also helps us better understand how to help them in the wild.

    What types of behaviour should we look for?

    Different types of animals have different behaviours, but generally we can look for different things most animals do:

    • Feeding behaviours - foraging, grazing and eating
    • Social behaviours - grooming each other, parenting and playing
    • Passive behaviours - resting, sitting, sleeping
    • Aggressive behaviours - attacking, biting and fighting
    • Comfort behaviours - stretching, sneezing, scratching

    Can you think of anything else animals might do?


    gentoo penguins


    Looking for behaviours on the webcams

    Keep this checklist open while you watch the Rockhopper webcam and tick off any behaviours that you can see!

    Rockhopper Behaviours


    New! Lion Behaviours

    Can you write your own checklists for any of the other animals?


    Learning about the animals

    Now we've found out what to look out for when watching the webcams, what can you find out about the animals themselves? You can use our worksheet to record your research, and then why not write your own story about the animals you've been watching?

    Animal Study and Story Worksheet
  • Behaving Like Animals!

    Tiger

    If you've been watching our webcams very often, you'll know that our tiger Dharma can be very hard to find!

    In Tiger Tale, Ruby and Zed go on an adventure to try to find a tiger, learning about different animal behaviour on the way. Download our PDF of the experience, and take part in Ruby's challenges for yourself at home, or if you have a printer, why not put them up around your neighbourhood for other children to join in the fun? 

    Download Tiger Tale


    If you enjoy Tiger Tale, or if you share it around your neighbourhood, we'd love to see your pictures! Share with us on Facebook or Twitter!

  • Learn more about animal behaviour

    If you have enjoyed this introduction and would like to learn more about animal behaviour, we have a hub of information about the science behind observing animals and lots of in-depth project ideas for you to do at home.

    Animal Behaviour Hub