Topic outline

  • Animal Behaviour Hub

    Animal Behaviour Hub

    • Introduction

      Welcome to the RZSS Animal Behaviour Hub.

      Here, we promise to train you up in the ways of behavioural research from the comfort of your own home!

      Whether you are an expert or a beginner, young or old, this hub will have something for you!

      We will be using the live animal webcams at Edinburgh Zoo to facilitate your own behavioural research projects without ever having to leave the house., let's get started!

      Edinburgh Zoo Penguin Cam

      • Level 1 - I'm a Beginner!

        Start at this level to find out more about why we study animal behaviour and understand why in action through our penguin example. Then, complete your own challenge to apply your new learning!
      • Level 2 - Getting the Hang of This?

        You know why we study animal behaviour so now you need to know how!

      • Level 3 - Make Me An Expert!

        You know what, why and how and you’ve had a go – you can now call yourself an animal behaviourist for sure! Behaviours differ hugely depending on the species, individuals and when you conduct your study. Animals that are active during the night are described as nocturnal. During the day, animals are called diurnal and crepuscular animals are mainly active during twilight hours. With that knowledge, are you ready for your last set of challenges?

        Which of the three categories (nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular) would you put a koala in? Make a hypothesis and create your own ethogram for koalas. While watching our koala cam, try it out. Don’t forget the importance of replication too! The longer you collect data on the animal for, the more representative of its true behaviours your conclusion will be!

        Edinburgh Zoo Koala Cam

        Now that you have your data, you can use it to prove or disprove your hypothesis by creating a graph of your results. Then, share any findings with us at RZSS Learning and compare your ethograms and hypotheses with others! We’re looking forward to hearing how you’ve got on! 

        Once you've have completed our last research challenges, make sure you take the final quiz below to show us everything you have learned!

      • What Next?

        Want to gain more experience in behavioural research? Look out for more opportunities to engage with behavioural research with RZSS in the future at Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park:

        With Your School:

        You can learn more about our animals behaviour on a trip to Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park with your school! Just book onto the Animal Drama lesson (for primary schools) or Animal Behaviour lesson (for secondary schools).  For full details on how teachers can book onto these curriculum-linked lessons, click here! Prices are from as little as £6 per head including zoo admission!

        As an S5-S6 Student:
        RZSS ZEBRA | Edinburgh Zoo

        We have several cost-effective offerings designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of behavioural research, as well as complete behavioural research projects. Have a look at the below to see what might best suit you:

        RZSS Advanced Higher Projects

        RZSS Science Summer School

        RZSS ZEBRA

        As a Visitor:

        We would love to think you can take the knowledge from this resource to enhance your next trip to Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park. Whether it's simply looking out for the diversity of behaviours seen in our exhibits, or turning up with your own data sheet and ethogram, you’re sure to find that learning is more fun at the zoo!

        • Other Useful Resources

          If you have enjoyed learning about ethology at home, you can continue your journey with Living Links, the behavioural research station based at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, run in partnership with St Andrews University. Living Links have created a series of resources on supporting behavioural research over the years and you can find them all at:

          If you'd rather just stick to the live webcams, that's great too! You can find a range of ethograms in Level 2for your use online or at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park in the future. Here are the direct links to each of RZSS's live webcams:


           Koala Cam (Edinburgh Zoo)

           Panda Cam (Edinburgh Zoo)

           Penguin Cam (Edinburgh Zoo)

           Rockhopper Cam (Edinburgh Zoo)

           Snow Monkey Cam (Highland Wildlife Park)

           Tiger Cam (Edinburgh Zoo)