Butterfly Rainforest Florida Museum of NAtural History

Color Patterns

Nature on Display: Upon walking into the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, I noticed a tall open spaced room filled with framed butterflies from the ground to the ceiling. The vast amount of butterfly diversity was very striking to me and captured my attention right away. I had no idea how complex and diverse such a small insect can be. The part of the exhibit I found really intriguing was the color patterns section. In the pictures above, it displayed the bright, shiny, blue characteristic a butterfly could have. In addition to all the different colors and patterns, I read how they serve as a variety of different purposes. For example, bright colors give warnings to predators, dull colors help blend into their surroundings to hide, patterns could resemble the attraction in finding a mate, and how the darker the color, the warmer the body. From this medium design of framing butterflies from top to bottom, I really understood the strong emphasizes on the grand diversity of this species. In addition, I really enjoyed the videos of butterflies (introduction page) because I felt like I could actually feel their presence and view how they act.

Conservation- Insects are Essential

Nature and Ethics: Upon reading the conservation section of the museum, I did realize how important butterflies are to our community and did not view myself as a conqueror. I viewed myself equal to that of butterflies and as a "biotic community." Conserving insects is vital to protecting Earth's ecosystem. Without butterflies, our ecosystem would not be the same nor would we. They are important pollinators and sources of food for other organisms. They also assist with nutrient cycling and pest control. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to insects and other wildlife and it's our duty to reduce/prevent habitat loss as a "biotic community." I felt as if it was my responsibility to conserve this vital species in order to protect, not only the butterflies, but the Earth and humans too. This museum really allowed me to connect with nature and made me realize how the complex, diverse, and important these butterflies have on the ecosystem. I do believe what Leopold says, how we have to first learn to appreciate the land for more than its economic value and appreciate the creatures for more than its existence. After we can "love, respect and admire the land," we can become motivated and inspired to help conserve it. I feel it is our ethic responsibility to conserve our land and the species it inhabits.

Evolution Lepidoptera
Genetics Describes Life
Decoding DNA

Nature and Human Spirit: the Natural History museum immerses us into a world we lack to notice. With all the descriptive and visual illustrations on butterflies, it makes us feel as if we actually are getting to know and understand the beauty and importance of which we lack to see. We are able to step out of our daily lives of school and work, and just embrace the nature our environment holds. The museum brings to our attention the evolution and genetics of butterflies. I learned the evolution of Lepidoptera and that the original butterflies and moths date back to the time of dinosaurs. Their evolution, like other animals and plants, never stops. The evolution of diversity, genetics of color, and convolution of plants is quite magnificent to me. The mystery and majesty of evolution and how everything is related to one another is strikingly unbelievable. Humans continue to study genetics in a DNA lab and researchers use specific steps to decode DNA. The amount of information one can find from DNA coding is outstanding. This provides us with the knowledge to all the history and evolution of every species alive (and dead). After visiting the Museum of Natural History, I have definitely become more aware of the Earth's history, beauty, majesty, and mystery.

Created By
Samantha Tetlak

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