Fantastic Beasts : Animal Adaptations

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

STEMLinc Video Conference: Visit the Ecolinc Lizard Lounge with Professor Noah Lott and discover the structural features and adaptations that help animals to survive in their environment.  How is the growth and survival of living things effected by the physical conditions of their environment, and how in turn are these environments determined by the climatic factors shaping the Australian landscape?  Meet some of our animal stars Rocky, Richmond, Tyrant, Albert, Freddy and Fernando during this live event.  How is the growth and survival of living things effected by the physical conditions of their environment? Meet some of our lizard stars, Rocky, Richmond, Caramel and Tyrant during this live dial-in event.

 Year Level: 5-6

 Duration: 1 hour

STEM in a Box:

The onsite program features a STEM in a Box kit which includes an A1-sized poster and a set of animal stickers that the students attach to the poster at key points in the presentation.

This is replaced with an electronic version of the poster for students learning from home.

Background Information:

Animals have many adaptations that help them survive in their environment.  Sometimes these adaptations are such that the animal may be suited to only very specific habitats, while other animals may be more generalists and able to survive in a wide range of habitats.  As such, knowledge of the types of climates and habitats found in Australia can be a good predictor of the distribution of a particular animal, or conversely, observation of an animal’s features is a good predictor of where we might find it in the wild.

There are many ways that we may categorise climate or habitat zones and sub-zones in Australia.  This program uses the five simplest climate zones described by the Bureau of Meteorology, namely Tropical, Subtropical, Temperate, Grasslands, and Desert.  Visit the BoM website for more detail.

 Prior Knowledge:

The introduction of the 5 climate zones (taken from the Köppen classification of Australian climate zones) in this video conference presentation is an extension of the simpler world zones described in the 3-4 Geography curriculum (VCGGK081).  It would be useful, but not essential, if the basic world climate zones and some Australian geography has been covered already, as this is important context for the discussion of the live animals that are presented onscreen.

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Learn about the main climate zones found in Australia, and the factors that lead to their location.
  • Meet some popular Australian native pets, and find out their requirements, and how this relates to their natural habitat.
  • Observe the features that help these animals survive in their native habitat.


In this program students will:

  • Engage in class discussion about which climate zones animals are most suited to and why.
  • Complete a classroom poster that shows where some well-known and some lesser-known native animals can be found in Australia.

Victorian Curriculum


  • Level 3-4: Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (VCSSU057)
  • Level 3-4: With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (VCSIS065)
  • Level 5-6: Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
  • Level 5-6: Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)
  • Level 5-6: With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be based on previous experiences or general rules (VCSIS082)


  • Level 3-4: Identify and describe locations and spatial distributions and patterns (VCGGC072)
  • Level 3-4: Main climates of the world and the similarities and differences between the climates of different places (VCGGK081)

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Dates & Times 2022

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February 22nd 10 am Book here
February 22nd 12 pm Book here
February 22nd 2 pm Book here

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