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spiky puffed out fish

Aquatic Adaptations

In this exciting hands-on session, children will discover how aquatic animals survive in their habitats.

Discover how the bodies of freshwater animals are perfectly suited to help them survive in their habitat whilst examining an amazing selection of real Museum objects.

Dress as jellyfish, frogs or crabs, imitate their movements, and consider how (and why) they move like that. Examine a stuffed caiman, shark’s jaw and lobster, and identify the adaptations that help them to catch their prey… or defend themselves from predators. 

The cost of the session also includes timed access for the class to the Aquarium (please note – this is not private access) outside the session.

Please be aware that the Aquarium is popular on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, so you may wish to book this session at quieter times of the week.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify animals that live in aquatic habitats.
  • Identify and simply describe ways in which different aquatic animals are adapted to living in the water.
  • Understand how and why different adaptations are advantageous for aquatic animals.

“The session allowed them to ask questions, hold the real items, i.e. a puffer fish/sharks teeth, and then discuss them.” Year 1 Teacher 

Workshop information

How to book

Booking a taught session includes a welcome briefing on arrival, timed access to a lunch space, cloakroom facilities and access to toilets for the exclusive use of school groups.

Contact us to make a booking:
020 8291 8686

When you contact us please have ready:

– the name of the taught session you would like to book or topic you are studying,

-1st/2nd/3rd choice of date and preferred session time,

– the number of pupils and adults attending.


Entrance to the Horniman Museum and Gardens is free of charge. Taught sessions and access to some exhibitions are charged for. We invoice after your visit.

The following charges apply:
– 45 minute object handling, Museum and Gardens sessions (up to 30 pupils): £72.50 ex VAT (£87.00 inc VAT) per session
– 30/45 minute object handling sessions for Special Education Needs classes (up to 12 pupils): £36.25 ex VAT (£43.50 inc VAT) per session
– 60 minute Gamelan and 90 minute sessions (up to 30 pupils): £122.50 ex VAT (£147.00 inc VAT) per session.

We offer a bursary.

Planning your visit

See Plan Your Day for other essential information including our Risk Assessment.

We are open from 10am–5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge.

Entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House and our temporary exhibition Permian Monsters (opens until 1 November 2020) is charged with reduced rates available for school, college, university and nursery groups.

Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.