Our students were able to see and touch a range of invertebrates and vertebrates at close quarters including: a Burmese Python, a tree frog, a giant millipede, whose feet felt like being stroked with a tooth brush, a chameleon, whose skin colour changed depending on his mood, and an African Spurred Tortoise called Austin. The star of the show was Wiltsy the chicken who demonstrated ‘Chicken head tracking’. Many birds can keep their heads absolutely stationary while their bodies move around. This is an adaptation to keep the bird’s perception of the environment constant despite other gyrations of the body.
Students were told by the ranger about how the animals were classified into different groups, how they were looked after and the adaptations that made each animal successful. This unique animal handling experience was enthusiastically received by all.