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On-site Tour: The Dead Zoo

Pupils looking at rabbits in the Wonder Cabinet

Join this introductory tour of the Dead Zoo! Discover the unique stories behind a selection of 3,000 animals and fossils on display. Students will see up-close zoological and geological examples of the natural world that have been on display since we opened our doors over 166 years ago.

Includes curriculum linked themes such as biodiversity, ecology, endangerment and extinction.

On-site tour at a glance

Level: 3rd Class – 6th Class
Duration: 45 mins
Capacity: One class per session
Availability: Fully Booked until Easter mid-term. Programme for April - June 2024 term will be available to book in March.
Times: 10am & 11.30am
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible. If your group has any additional access concerns or requirements please advise the Museum Bookings team in advance. 
Booking: To enquire about booking a facilitated visit for your class please complete this enquiry form.
Description: Join a highlights tour of the ground floor Irish Room to learn about the museum and its displays of animals and fossils. Includes a close up inspection of some of the educational handling collections in the Wonder Cabinet e.g. real and replica furs, fossils and skulls.

Please note: The teacher will remain with the class throughout the duration of the tour.

Curriculum links

SESE Science

Investigating and experimenting
Collect information and data from a variety of sources

Living things
Human life; Plant and animal life

Environmental awareness and care
Environmental awareness; Science and the environment; Caring for the environment

Learning outcomes

On completion of this live session students should be able to: 

  • Identify wildlife and biodiversity of Ireland

  • Describe animal adaptations and their habitats

  • Explain local and global environmental issues, such as threats to species and habitats

  • Define conservation and outline actions that help protect biodiversity

  • Summarise the role of a science museum and how collections are preserved for display and scientific research

On the tour learn about:

  • How the giant Irish deer became extinct 10,500 years ago in Ireland‚Äč

  • A seven metre long basking shark that was caught off the west coast of Ireland over 150 years ago

  • ‚ÄčEndangered species in Ireland and the threats they face

  • The Wonder Cabinet and see up close the different predators and prey on display, including the fossil jawbone of an Irish hyena!


Before your visit

Prepare the class for the tour. Give pupils an idea of what to expect to see or have a discussion about the Museum in advance of the visit.

Why not take a 3D virtual tour of the NMI - Natural History in the classroom with your students.

Make an enquiry

To enquire about booking a facilitated visit for your class please complete this enquiry form.


After your visit

  • After the session, Teachers will be sent via email a number of fun follow-up learning activities for pupils to explore in the classroom.

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Natural History

Natural History,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2,
D02 F627

+353 1 677 7444