Florida Museum of Natural History

Nature and the Human Spirit: The cave replicas at the museum immediately sparked my interest. They were filled with fossils, beautiful rock formations and animals I've never seen or heard of before. American caves have an abundance of knowledge to offer about not only the past but also the present, and there is so much more to uncover. The fossils and rock formations such as stalagmites found in the caves show a timeline that is millions of years long and can give us information from some of the first organisms on earth to neanderthals. Thinking about the people who used to live in such caves interests me in my ancestral path and finding out my true origins. There are so many undiscovered and unexplored caves on the planet that could close gaps in current knowledge and I am fascinated by them.
Nature on Display: Before my visit to the FLMNH I had never been to a butterfly garden, so I was excited to see what it would be like. I was blown away by how close you could get to the butterflies and how beautiful they were. The way the path wrapped around the rainforest and all of the trees gave it a feeling of authenticity and I couldn't believe an exhibit could feel so real. Seeing the live butterflies as opposed to dead ones on display gives a deeper understanding of the world's ecosystems. All of the organisms in the garden worked symbiotically to uphold the rainforest and only emphasized more to me how important it is to preserve real world environments like the Butterfly Rainforest around the globe.
Nature and Ethics: The underwater exhibit along with the estuary and mangrove exhibit brought the issue of overfishing to my attention. We are quickly draining our oceans of fish and soon there won't be enough to sustain not only our needs but the oceans ecosystems. In the ocean fish are on almost every level of the food chain from algae-eating bait fish to Great white sharks. Removing any step of the food chain can be detrimental to an ecosystem, causing an imbalance in the predator-prey relationship. The problem of overfishing comes back to the average person. We have to be conscious about what we eat, how it affects the environment, and not be wasteful. Nature conservation, however, must be taken beyond overfishing. People around the world must start taking responsibility for the planet and realize that we are just as reliant on the earth as every other organism on the planet.

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