Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH by lillianne marcheggiani

Nature on Display: Florida Fossils

For as long as I can remember, I've been absolutely intrigued by sharks. I spend all year waiting for Shark Week on the Discovery channel and plan vacations around the coasts so I can be near the water. Marine life has always been one of my favorite things - sharks being the focal point. When I entered the Florida Fossils exhibit and was met with Shark Jaw Row, I was amazed. This exhibit held the jaw of the largest shark to ever live, Megalodon. This immediately caught my attention. Inside the exhibit, I learned that it is nearly impossible to fully understand the scope of how large some of these animals were through videos on the Discovery channel. You have to be in an exhibit to experience the full grown fossils that loom in front of you. What I found the most enjoyable about the museum was watching little children look up at these fossils with wonder in their eyes, and to look up in wonder along with them.

Megalodon's jaw!
Various fossils on display in the Florida Fossils exhibit

Nature and Ethics: Butterfly Rainforest

While walking through Butterfly Rainforest, you really get the sense of how little of a role we as humans play in the entire spectrum of life. We may sometimes be viewed as the conquerers of everything, but when you're standing in that exhibit surrounded by the wildlife, you realize that there is a much broader scope of organisms that take part in this ecosystem than just us. In that exhibit, you can really take your time to breathe in everything it has to offer you. People sit down on benches and watch butterflies take flight, intrigued by the fragility of such a small insect, but amazed by the power in its wings. I definitely think it is important to take care of your surrounding environment. These insects play just as important a role in preserving the biosphere as we do. This exhibit did instill a bit of an ethical responsibility in me, in that I am much more aware of what I activities I take part in, so that I am preserving the ecosystem.

Butterflies eating fruit
Me enjoying the view of the butterfly rainforest

Nature and the Human Spirit: Exploring Our World

This exhibit had a lot of researchers going about their business and allowed us to view their process. In terms of mystery and majesty, I think this research center goes hand in hand with that theme. Genetics is something that is an ongoing process that is forever evolving, both inside the human body and in research facilities. Hereditary material between two organisms may share similarities, but they also share differences that may not be well known or discovered yet, which has an aura of mystery to it. What do we really know about our DNA? Despite how much we have discovered, scientists continue to study genetics. Reading about genetics, both from this museum and from a biology textbook, is intriguing in the sense that there is so much to look forward to. It helps us to better appreciate the complexity of both ourselves and the organisms that surround us.

Researchers in the lab decoding butterfly DNA
Created By
Lillianne Marcheggiani

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