Nature Activity at FLMNH IUF1000- Mallori Johnson

Nature on Display- Growing up, my father and I would go scuba diving looking for fossils in our hometown of Venice, Fl: the sharks tooth capital of the world. We’ve found sharks teeth ranging from one centimeter to up to 6 inches from sharks of all different kinds. Upon first walking into the FLMNH, I was beyond excited to see a giant megalodon sharks tooth, just like the ones we used to find. It is predicted for every inch the sharks tooth is, every 10 feet the shark is. When finding these sharks teeth, it is hard to imagine the size of the jaws it must fit in. When I walked back further into the museum I was completely in awe of the shark jaw exhibit, showing exactly how big the jaws of different sharks are. The life like 3d models helped show an otherwise unimaginable size of the shark jaws. The lighting on the jaws with a black and blue background aided the imagination to flow about what the rest of the huge creatures must have looked like. The museum overall had many interactive exhibits that made learning and touring it fun.

Nature and Ethics- Between access to many life like nature exhibits, the FLMNH also offers access to both a frog and a butterfly exhibit. When I toured the museum the butterfly exhibit really struck my attention. When I was young, my family took a trip to Costa Rica, land of the Blue Morpho butterfly. I instantly became obsessed with it’s sheer beauty and even have pictures of them hanging in my room back home. When I first entered the butterfly garden, I felt as if I was back in the Costa Rican rainforests. Soon enough a Blue Morpho butterfly flew right by me and eventually I found an area of about 10 congregating. Moments like these, becoming awestruck by nature, sure do increase my gratitude for our planet. My passion and ethical responsibility of protecting nature was re-light as a result of visiting the museum. Additionally, everyone around me seemed to be in a dream like state. Making sure no one would step on them, a young girl guarded a couple butterflies that landed on the ground. This young girl, by visiting the museum, now has a love for nature and has the drive to protect it, just as Leopold suggests.

Nature and the Human Spirit- The FLMNH figuratively and literally let us step out of our ordinary lives. From stepping into the butterfly garden, frog exhibit, and prehistoric section, the museum shows us first hand the beauty in the living, history of the past, and the importance of preserving the future creatures living on Earth. Each exhibit lets us imagine what it would be like to be alive in a different time and place. Hence, allowing us to recognize the mystery that lies in the past. Living in Florida, the museum allows us to gain a better understanding of ourselves by finding a connection to our present life. For me, the South Florida People and their Environments exhibit did this. I’ve always been very curious, about the world and what lies beneath the surface. I grew up exploring islands, scuba diving, and spearfishing. Many of the islands I once explored were old Calusa Indian islands with shell mounds all over them, just like the photo above. The reading information about old methods of fishing, spear fishing, and exploring the sea reminded me of my lifelong passion. This exhibit led me to wonder about what it was like to do these things at a different point in time. Walking through the exhibits feeling fully immersed in this historic culture added more mysterious thoughts/ curiosity to my mind in turn letting me appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world.

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Mallori Johnson

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