Florida Museum of Natural History BY: Roberto coltraro

Nature on Display

The "Hall of Fame of Florida Fossil: Evolution of Life and Land" was particularly appealing to me. It puts on display the actual size of shark jaws that have lived on the ocean, we still don't know much about. To the right of the picture, one can see the jaw of the largest known shark to roam the depths of the ocean, to me its amusing to think that something so large and powerful was once alive. The design of this exhibit was very simple yet so effective at capturing one's attention, due to the fact that all the shark jaws are at ground level for the audience to get a real idea of the enormity of the jaws. From this exhibit I further understood that the sharks that we now consider amazing due to their big size and power, are merely a fraction of what once existed. This display does that better than any other because it allows one to visually compare side by side the size of a Great White Shark to bigger ones that are extinct. My tour around the museum was so enjoyable because it opened up my eyes to many things that I didn't previously know, like this display for example. But also to other things, like the natives of Florida which I will talk about later on.

Nature and Ethics

The butterfly exhibit allows one to experience nature in the way Leopold recommends, by walking into what seemed like a rainforest which was strikingly amusing and entertaining. Furthermore, it showcased the butterflies in a nonrestricted and more natural habitat. I didn't make the human the "conquer of the land" as in this case the human walks into the home of the member of this "biotic community." The exhibit has the visitor's full attention as everywhere one looks there is a different specie of butterfly to be admired. In this way one is able to connect and learn more about the different types of butterflies since they are alive, rather than dead on a display glass. The beauty of this exhibit was seeing nature in the condition it is suppose to be in, free flowing with the freedom they require to be properly admired. My visit to the museum instilled in my a sense of admiration and responsibility for the right treatment of nature. As well as the duty of giving nature the deserved respect it lacks.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Natural History Museum helps the visitor forget about all worries and responsibilities for the time of their visit. During one's visit everything momentarily pauses and one's attention is on what is in front of one's eyes. It makes the audience think about nature on a deeper level. It forces one to deeply focus on the different exhibits by having to physically walk through them like the ocean, butterfly, and native exhibits. For example, the native exhibit has pictures, miniature native settlements, and even a real life hut replicating a native ritual inside. These type of features makes it easy for observers to think beyond what is present, and ponder on things like the type of life they led, the structure of their tribe, the biggest challenges they faced on a daily basis, among other things. Along with these thoughts, when I passed through the Florida native exhibit I began to think about all the necessities that nature provides us. Back then we would obtain directly from the source. These exhibits show Floridians' humble beginnings and exemplify how far we have come as a specie, from living in huts in the everglades to now building very complex establishments in suburbs. Nonetheless, it is quite amazing how nature has everything that we need in order to survive. Humans owe much to nature and it should be appreciated it more often.

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