Auckland Zoo visit by Macleans College students

Posted on October 22, 2019

On 16 October, 54 Level 3 Biology students, accompanied by Mrs Humphreys, Ms Maraki and Mrs O’Brien, visited Auckland Zoo primarily for the Trends in Human Evolution presentation.

The first part of this session focussed on primate comparative anatomy and, in particular, the skeletal differences that enable full bipedalism in humans only. The use of full size human and chimpanzee skeletons, accompanied by both erudite and entertaining descriptions by the educator, Sarah Skoggard, provided tangible evidence to reinforce text and workbook information.

The interactive second half involved identification and classification of several hominin skulls followed by a hands-on experience with replica old stone tools dating from 2.2 - 0.1 million years ago. Discussion revolved around their method of production, the brain development that would have been necessary to create them and their potential uses.

Additional opportunities thereafter to view the primate and other enclosures, look at the zoo’s enrichment methods and visit the NZ Centre for Conservation Medicine were much appreciated.