Dinosaurs & Fossils

Animatronic Dinosaur Zoo, Kent
Swainson's rainbow lorikeet
ring-tailed lemurs
crocodile
Aldabra Tortoise
Chimpanze at Wingham Wildlife Park
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Learn about dinosaurs and fossils at this top Kent education provider

History & Geography

Discover twenty two different species of dinosaur and synapsid from around the world in our Dinosaur Zoo. Our collection includes species which lived throughout the Cretaceous, Jurassic, Permian and Triassic periods.

Local Relevance
  • One dinosaur in our collection that has particular local relevance is Iguanodon due to the iguanodon fossils discovered in Maidstone in 1834.
  • Kent is ideal for fossil hunting, particularly for Palaeongene and early Cretaceous fossils. The county has an abundance of locations ideal for fossil hunting and our Dinosaur Zoo provides a map of sites where fossils have/can be discovered on our doorsteps.
Geochronology
  • Use information provided about Geochronology to learn about eons, eras (including the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras), periods and epochs and understand how particular fossils/dinosaurs fit into these terms and where they belong on a timeline.
History of Palaeontology
  • Learn about the work of famous palaeontologists and the early history of palaeontology and geology, particularly the bone wars.
Extinction Theories
  • Our Dinosaur Zoo provides an opportunity to explore a variety of extinction theories with information provided about six of the most catastrophic extinction events our planet has experienced including the Ordovician Silurian extinction caused by an ice age and the current Halocene extinction being caused by human impact.
Science
Evolution

By comparing our dinosaurs to animals in the park children can recognise how they differ from one another and that living things change over time.

  • Information is available in our Dinosaur Zoo about feathered dinosaurs.
  • Comparisons between meat-eating theropods in our Dinosaur Zoo, such as velociraptor and bird species around our park provide an opportunity for children to see first-hand that the slow and gradual process of evolution can have big effects.
  • Opportunity for children consider why it’s important for living things to change over time. For example children can compare size differences between deinosuchus and our Cuban and west African crocodiles and the impact that may have had on one’s survival and the others extinction. To gain a greater understating of how animals adapt to their environment and why evolution is crucial to survival.
  • Students can see for themselves how evolving in geographic isolation may affect an animals development by comparing similarities and differences between our ring-tailed lemurs and other primates at the park.
Fossils
  • Our ethnography and natural history museum provides an opportunity for students to experience fossils first hand. Our collection includes a mammoth tooth, plant fossils and extinct fish and marine reptile fossils to name but a few, which will help students to understand living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Control room contains replica items such as tyrannosaurus-rex claws, sabre-tooth tiger teeth and fossilised dinosaur eggs which can be used alongside our animals, animatronic dinosaurs and real fossils to compare the differences between living animals, animals which are dead and things which were never alive.
Reading
Statutory key stage 1 & 2 words
  • Ten key stage 1 and another ten key stage 2 words relevant to the subject from the statutory word lists are on display the Dinosaur Zoo with a short explanation of their meaning. The reading word is used in the example given to develop children’s understanding of the word itself and ability to correctly spell/read it.

Teaching outcomes lead to being able to…identify different dinosaur species.

  • identify different dinosaur species.
  • distinguish between carnivores and herbivores.
  • understand the meaning of extinction and how such extinctions come about.
  • comprehend the size of dinosaurs.
  • understand key stage specific statutory words.

How to best use our zoo and other exhibits during a school visit:

This self-guided tour is one of a series of itineraries we have prepared for schools. The Dinosaurs and Fossils adaptation highlights the following exhibits and species.

  1. Barbary Macaques
  2. Ethnography and Natural History Museum
  3. Vervet, Capuchin and Squirrel Monkey’s
  4. Reptile House
  5. Tropical House
  6. Lake
  7. Aldabra Giant Tortoises
  8. Dinosaur Zoo
  9. Ring-tailed lemurs
  10. Chimpanzee House

Some of the primates you may wish to compare to our lemurs to are macaques, vervets, capuchins and squirrel monkey’s which are easily accessed from the entrance. From here walk around the corner to the Ethnography and Natural History Museum within the Education Centre to see our fossil collection alongside a number of other interesting items. Next, our Reptile House is home to a number of amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles including crocodiles and a variety of lizards which are ideal for comparing to our dinosaurs later in your trip. You may wish to visit our Tropical House from here which is home to a diverse range of free flying birds and a great opportunity to reflect on the evolution of birds from reptiles having just visited our Reptile House. From here you will pass a number of species including gibbons, tigers and mandrills as you head towards the lake where you will see a variety of birds, turtles and fish.

After you are finished at the lake please move on to see our Aldabra giant tortoises and next door to them our animatronic Dinosaur Zoo. You might consider dedicating some time to this area for pupils to make their comparisons, take down their key stage words and discuss theories of extinction and other information available etc. They may also like to uncover fossils in the sand and to enjoy other props available.

Once you are done here you will pass our macaws and spur-thighed tortoises en-route to our walk-through ring-tailed lemur enclosure which is open from 12-1pm and 2-3pm every day. You may also be interested in our daily lemur talk which takes place at 2.45 pm. As you make your way to the exit you can visit our troop of western chimpanzees, one of our closest relatives, in the chimpanzee House which is also home to a variety of other species including small primates, sloths and armadillos.

Some interesting facts and learning points:

  • Birds evolved from small meat eating dinosaurs (maniraptoran theropods) such as velociraptor.
  • Charles Darwin was involved in gaining protection for Aldabra tortoises in their natural range, the Aldabra Atoll.
  •  The iguanodon fossils discovered in Kent in 1834 provided key evidence of this dinosaurs size and bone structure and influenced reconstruction, making it an internationally significant find.
  • Over 100 species of lemur live in Madagascar and they can be found nowhere else in the wild.
  • Lemurs resemble the ancestral primates that roamed Africa along-side dinosaurs 70 million years ago
  • Chimpanzees are one of our closest relatives, we both evolved from the same ancestor who lived 8- 6 million years ago.

What schools think of an educational day out in Kent with Wingham Wildlife Park

After every school visit we ask a teacher from the group to fill in a short email form about their day with us.  We are always looking to improve the experience for the kids as well as the teachers and helpers, so please do take the time to fill one of these in if you decide to join us for a day with your class.  Here is what some of our past teachers have said about a school visit to Wingham Wildlife Park!

Key Stage 1

Great communication, visited a few times but still found risk assessment very useful/ clear.
5.0
2019-06-10T16:21:36+00:00
Great communication, visited a few times but still found risk assessment very useful/ clear.

Key Stage 3

What a fab day out!! it was easy to book when phoned the staff were helpful, they were great when we arrived and the whole day was really good. Brilliant disabled access throughout which was really great and the disabled toileting area with hoist for our group was a real help. Thank you for a fab day we will definitely be back!
5.0
2019-06-10T16:19:15+00:00
What a fab day out!! it was easy to book when phoned the staff were helpful, they were great when we arrived and the whole day was really good. Brilliant disabled access throughout which was really great and the disabled toileting area with hoist for our group was a real help. Thank you for a fab day we will definitely be back!

Key Stage 2

Fab visit. We will definitely be back again. Super staff, excellent venue and goody bags a treat for the teachers too!!

Key Stage 2

5.0
2019-06-07T09:40:27+00:00

Key Stage 2

Fab visit. We will definitely be back again. Super staff, excellent venue and goody bags a treat for the teachers too!!

Key Stage 1

We had a great day and the children all were very excited to talk about what they had learnt when they got home.

Key Stage 1

5.0
2019-06-07T09:35:46+00:00

Key Stage 1

We had a great day and the children all were very excited to talk about what they had learnt when they got home.

Key Stage 1

Very well organised when we arrived, even though there were lots of school groups arriving at the same time.
5.0
2019-06-10T16:19:54+00:00
Very well organised when we arrived, even though there were lots of school groups arriving at the same time.

Key Stage 1

I regularly visit Wingham as it is close to home and my own son enjoys it. The children in my class all loved the visit and all went home to tell their parents to visit as well.

Key Stage 1

5.0
2019-06-07T09:37:30+00:00

Key Stage 1

I regularly visit Wingham as it is close to home and my own son enjoys it. The children in my class all loved the visit and all went home to tell their parents to visit as well.

Key Stage 3

A really nice and friendly park. our group is Autistic and it is our second year of visiting. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the park and we will be coming again!
5.0
2019-06-10T16:22:29+00:00
A really nice and friendly park. our group is Autistic and it is our second year of visiting. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the park and we will be coming again!

Key Stage 2

I would certainly recommend a visit. Our children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and gained so much from the experience. Thank you.

Key Stage 2

5.0
2019-06-07T09:38:36+00:00

Key Stage 2

I would certainly recommend a visit. Our children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and gained so much from the experience. Thank you.

Key Stage 2

I have been coming to Wingham for approximately 10 years and I love visiting Wingham. I am impressed with the way it has developed over the years. Better enclosures, signage etc.
5.0
2019-06-10T16:18:42+00:00
I have been coming to Wingham for approximately 10 years and I love visiting Wingham. I am impressed with the way it has developed over the years. Better enclosures, signage etc.

Key Stage 2

We thought the staff were helpful and well informed. They were very kind and helped when one child fell and needed some first aid. There were plenty of seats for lunch, and overall the children were very happy to have enjoyed the day. Thank you.
5.0
2019-06-10T16:21:02+00:00
We thought the staff were helpful and well informed. They were very kind and helped when one child fell and needed some first aid. There were plenty of seats for lunch, and overall the children were very happy to have enjoyed the day. Thank you.

Key Stage 1

We had a wonderful day. Thankyou so much for making a school trip as pain free and enjoyable as possible.
5.0
2019-06-10T16:17:29+00:00
We had a wonderful day. Thankyou so much for making a school trip as pain free and enjoyable as possible.
5
11

Find out more & book

To find out more about booking one of our educational visits please check out our website, give us a call or simply fill in the form below:

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