This was a particularly appealing exhibit. Anything with a giant shark jaw is going to capture most peoples attention, including mine. It was also most interesting to me because almost all of the signs underneath the jaws credited the St. Johns River which is in my hometown of Jacksonville. This to me was pretty crazy. The jaw was a replica jaw with many real fossilized teeth. The teeth of this shark were huge, some bigger than my hand. This was a very large shark, the Megaladon, that went extinct millions of years ago. Seeing one of these creatures in person would have been incredible. Along with this jaw, there were many others. One of the jaws was of the Great White Shark, which still lives today. Its jaw was tiny compared to the Megaladons, and it is one of the largest sharks in existence currently. I would have been able to be swallowed whole standing upright by a Megaladon shark. Exhibits that showed large animals like this interested me the most and this is why I enjoyed the museum a lot. I saw a giant sloth, the mammoths, and other large animal fossils that were very interesting. The museum showed first hand all of the diversity of life that was and still is on our planet. This was shown better than other mediums like a book or classroom could have done. Hearing/Learning it and actually seeing all the diversity are two different experiences entirely.
The museum provided to some extent a love, admiration, and respect for nature. The butterfly garden did this the most. I was literally in a swarm of butterflies. They would land on people including me constantly. You could see many different types, how they flew, and what and how they were eating. This was a much better exhibit than I thought it was going to be. I would not say I loved the butterflies by any means, but I did have some admiration and respect for them. Also, the fossil exhibit I have pictured above was cool to see as well. The exhibit was full of past life of all kinds. I did admire how different some would have been from the current life given that it had survived on to today. I would not say that the museum inspired me to conserve nature any more then I already am though. The experience in the museum in general was what I would describe as a sense of wonder and curiosity. You did not know what you were going to see next and what you would learn about that particular thing. Most of the exhibits featured things that you may have heard of, but never really seen much of in person. Its always better to see something in person. Many people reacted similar to me. Some would point to things, and a lot of people were smiling and seemed excited when they were talking about the exhibits to others. Visitors like me also seemed to have an interest in the fossils. The fossil exhibits always seemed to have a crowd.
The things I saw in this museum are by no means an everyday experience, and this is how it allows us to get away from our everyday lives. Most people, including myself, do not see fossils on a daily basis. It is something new to learn about and is exciting to see, especially when they are all put together and you can see what the organisms skeleton would have looked like. People including myself also get to learn about how these animals would have lived and what time period they would have lived in. This is also new to most people and interesting as well. This goes hand and hand with appreciation the mystery and majesty of the world. You wonder how and why these animals went extinct. You also wonder how it would be to live with some of these animals today. You see firsthand how complex life on earth is and also how diverse it is. It is mind blowing and will surely help you to appreciate it.