Museum Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side with creatures let loose from our world-class Biodiversity collections!
See over 700 prehistoric and modern animals, from dung beetles to dinosaurs.

Discover the relationship between creatures big and small, past and present, and the dramatic effect that size can have on survival.

Consider the importance of size in our rapidly changing global environment:

  • Are the biggest creatures necessarily the best in terms of survival?
  • Can the tiniest in fact be the most successful?
  • Is there one species that could destroy us all?

Things to see and do

Child viewing the exhibition

Our extraordinary 'Animal Parade' features creatures from the air, land and sea. The zoo wall features the outlines of some of the biggest and smallest animals that have ever lived.

  • Be amazed by the vast number of animals on display.
  • Stare into the eye of a tiger and size up against a Polar Bear
  • Stand beneath a Great White Shark
  • Work out your place in the parade in terms of size or survival?
  • View the colourful collection of interesting insects up close
  • Compare your own size and scale to the animals you see as you find yourself walking (and jumping and stretching) beside the 4 legged, 8 legged and legless.
  • Study physical and social adaptations like families, feathers, fur, fins. See how these adaptations impact upon survival.
  • Consider how you live and discover six things you can do to use less energy, reduce your impact and preserve animal habitat.

What can you do to support animal survival?

Child viewing a kangaroo in the exhibition

The biggest threat to animals, large and small is loss of habitat. The way we live today is polluting and destroying animal habitats.

Do your part to minimise habitat destruction:

  • Use a AAA-rated showerhead. You will save water and energy at home
  • Plant a native bush garden to attract animals
  • Buy goods with minimal packaging
  • Eat foods that are in season
  • Turn off electronic devices at the power point and save energy
  • Catch public transport when you can to reduce car travel

Learning Resources

Using the Biodiversity in Museum Zoo teacher notes and student worksheets, students identify features that help animals survive in their environment. Students also begin to group animals on the basis of observable features. Suitable for years 3 – 7.

Record Holders

Compare yourself to some of these record-holding animals when you visit the zoo wall.

Blue whale:

The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever known, even bigger than the dinosaurs. It eats some of the smallest animals in the sea. To survive, an adult must consume an astounding 3600 kilograms or up to 40 million small, shrimp-like krill every day. That's about 3 per cent of its body weight each day. How much food do you eat in a day?


The extinct Giant Short-faced Kangaroo is the largest of all kangaroos. Twice the size of a Red Kangaroo, it had hook-like paws, unusual feet and a short flat face. It lived 600 000 - 40 000 years ago. Imagine a mob of these kangaroos jumping across the land.

The Giant Bird-eating Spider:

The Giant Bird-eating Spider is the biggest living spider. A tarantula, it is native to South American rainforests. Fully extended, its legs can be 30 centimetres long. It can weigh more than 120 grams. How many spans of your hand would this spider be?

Event Details

17 May 2010 - 15 July 2011
Level 3, Queensland Museum South Bank

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