Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

Get close and personal with some of the more deadly species found in Australia and explore the amazing adaptations that these animals have that help them to survive our environmental extremes. Often animals have ‘deadly’ adaptations. Some spiders, for example, use webs to catch their prey but others have venom that allow them to paralyse their prey before eating it. These adaptations have ensured spiders become such successful predators. Students will explore the structural, behavioural and reproductive adaptations of some of Australia’s most deadly animals.

Background Information:

Animal adaptations describe the characteristics of an animal that help it to survive in its environment. Three types of adaptations are:

  • Structural or physical adaptations are characteristics that are a physical part of the organism (animal or plant). For example, the Australian Goanna has a forked tongue that it uses to sense fine odours in the air to find out where their prey is located.
  • Behavioural adaptations are the actions an animal takes to survive in their environment. For example, kangaroos will lick their paws when it is hot to cool themselves down.
  • The echidna has an unusual reproductive adaptation; between 2-12 male echidnas will form a train behind a female during mating season. The male that stays the longest and closest will get to mate with the female.

Now let’s learn about the ‘deadly’ adaptations of some Australian animals.

Year Level: 5 – 6

Prior Knowledge:

No prior knowledge is assumed.

Course Connections:

Does this course link to other Ecolinc programs?

This course is an ideal introduction to the following onsite programs:

Adaptations for Survival

or this course can stand alone as a learning experience.

Learning Intentions:

In this program students will:

  • Explore common features of ‘deadly’ Australian species
  • Identify the adaptations animals have that enable them to survive in their environment

Estimated Duration:

60 minutes or alternatively each section (Funnel Web Spider, Blue Ring Octopus, Australian Stone Fish, Australian Box Jelly Fish, Saltwater Crocodile, Great White Shark or Australian Taipan) could be completed as separate 8-10 minute sessions

Victorian Curriculum:

Science – Biological Sciences

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)

Course Creator: Jo Tate