The evolution of the primates Workshop

Workshop The evolution of the primates

What is the evolutionary history of primates? Where and when did the first hominids appear? Why are humans so similar, and yet so different, from all other primates? Throughout this workshop, students will relive the appearance of the primates and the adaptations that characterise this group. After presenting a short theoretical foundation by using biological materials, they will be able to distinguish the different families and list features such as their foods and the characteristics of their habitat.

Duration: 2 hours

Start time: 10.00 am, 12.00 am, 2.00 pm

To get the most out of the Workshop The evolution of the primates, we suggest studying the following aspects at school before the visit:  

 

To understand the students’ interests and increase motivation about the animals:

  • Look for information about primates. 
  • Collect brochures, photographs, magazine articles, cards, worksheets on different primates and look for common characteristics. 
  • Look for news information about the latest genetics advances related to the description of the primate genome, including humans. 
  • Introduce Darwin's theory of evolution. 

 

To observe animals: 

  • Watch a documentary related to studies by etiologists Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall or Birute Galdikas (videos by Survival or National Geographic) or the film Gorillas in the Mist. 

 

As specific objectives: 

  • Introduce the concept of ecological niche. 
  • Study the formation and separation of the continents to explain the current distribution of primates. 
  • Understand the importance of fossils. 
  • Describe the taxonomy categories: class, order, family, genus and species. 
  • Identify the most common types of locomotion: jumping, arboreal, brachiation, etc.

The Workshop The evolution of the primates teaches students about the characteristics of our closest kin in an entertaining way adapted to their ages.

 

This workshop is presented in a specially equipped classroom, where the educator (biologist) explains the outline of the activity and supervises its running. 

 

1. The class is divided into four sub-groups, where each will study a different aspect about primates with the support of materials and a study guide. All students do all the exercises. 

 

The contents studied are:

  • Recognise the traits in any mammal that let them be identified as primates.
  • Overview of the great diversity and adaptability of this order of mammals. 
  • Learn to classify the main groups with the assistance of dichotomic keys to the family level. 
  • Differentiate the wide range of adaptations of primates’ limbs according to the way they move in their habitats. 
  • Distinguish primates according to their craniums. 
  • Observe the behaviours and types of social organisations of the primate species at the Zoo. 
  • Status of primates in nature: threats and risks for their survival.
  • The contribution of zoos in conserving primates. 

 

Guided tour by a Zoo educator (biologist) to learn more about the following contents: 

  • Feeding behaviour of chimpanzees. 
  • Observation of representatives of the different primate families, morphological and taxonomy aspects. 
  • Introduction to ethological records of different species of primates.
  • Principal guidelines of primates’ social behaviour. 
  • Status of primates in nature: threats and risks for their conservation. 
  • The contribution of zoos in conserving primates: reproduction in captivity, ethological research and environmental education

Suggestions for activities to do after the Workshop The evolution of the primates:

 

Natural sciences space:  

  • Make a collection of different endangered primate species at the Zoo. 
  • Do a group project about the main families of primates seen at the Zoo. Design a plan to reintroduce an endangered primate species (bonobo, golden titi or gorilla, for example). 
  • Debate the suitability of keeping homidae in captivity. 
  • Design the perfect living facility for primates. 
  • Analyse the difficulties that would be encountered in reintroducing mountain gorillas in central Africa. 
  • Explain why it is so important for zoos to carry out educational, conservation and research tasks. 

 

Evaluation of learning obtained: 

  • Prepare and present a project in class about one of the primate species at the Barcelona Zoo.

CURRICULUM INTEGRATION 

CROSS-CUTTING CURRICULUM AREAS

Education in favour of the environment. 

RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM DISCIPLINES

Living organisms.  

 

OBJECTIVES

With respect to knowledge, facts and ideas:

  • Recognise the traits in any mammal that let them be identified as primates.
  • Overview of the great diversity and adaptability of this order of mammals. 
  • Learn to classify the main groups with the assistance of dichotomic keys to the family level. 
  • Differentiate the wide range of adaptations of primates’ limbs according to the way they move in their habitats. 
  • Distinguish primates according to their craniums. 
  • Observe the behaviours and types of social organisations of the primate species at the Zoo. 
  • Introduction to the problems involved in conserving endangered primate species. 


Content of the procedures :

  • Organisation of individual and group tasks. 
  • Handling of bones and other graphic materials to solve the exercises. 
  • Thorough observation and interpretation of materials. 
  • Interpretation of bones and other materials supplied. 
  • Deduction of concepts. 
  • Drawing up of hypotheses using the knowledge acquired.
  • Summarise and draw conclusions. 


Attitudes, values and norms: 

  • To foster participative and orderly behaviour during group activities. 
  • To become aware of the problem of primates and to realise their importance. 
  • To awaken respect for primates by knowing more about them.

Small group: 234 € (until 21 students) each additional student until 25, the price are 8,15 € for student. The free teachers

 

Big Group: 267 € (until 29 students) each additional student until 30, the price are 8,15 € for student. The free teachers

 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT DURING LOW PERIODS

 

If you sign up for an educational activity with the Department of Education during the months of September, December, January or February, you will receive a 20% discount off the price. Further, if during these months you do the activity on a Monday or Tuesday, you will receive a 30% discount. (*)

(*) If you sign up for an activity with the Department of Education taking advantage of the promotion and it has to be cancelled due to an incident of force majeure, we will reschedule the activity another day, always with the same original conditions.

Department of Education
Pg. Circumval.lació, 3, 08003 Barcelona 

Information and bookings: T. 932 256 787. From Monday to Thursday from 9:00am to 02:00pm and from 02:00pm to 04:30pm. Friday from 09:00am to 01:30pm

Information: T. 937 065 656 from 09:00am to 08:00pm

escolazoo@bsmsa.cat