Florida Museum of Natural History Jeni Swenson, Iuf1000 2017

Nature on display

American Mastadon
This exhibit containing the fossil of the American Mastadon caught my attention due to its sheer size and masterful reconstruction. I learned from this exhibit that the American Mastadon roamed North America from about 3 million to 10 thousand years ago. I also found it extremely fascinating that this very fossil was discovered at the bottom of the Aucilla river here in Florida. It is mind boggling to think about such creatures as these roaming the state we call home. It is also fascinating that such animals that live in our world today, like elephants, had such early and like-appearing ancestors. What I enjoyed most about this exhibit was the phenomenal reconstruction of the Mastadon and imagining what it would be like to stand next to a live 10 foot tall prehistoric elephant.

Nature and Ethics

Florida Tidal Marshes
The Florida everglades are a prime example of the necessity of appreciating and coexisting with the land. It is important that we don't simply value land for the economic assets it holds, but for the role it plays in our lives. Tidal marshes are often thought of inhospitable land with low value, but they're actually home to a biodiversity-rich habitat for plants and animals, they entrap sediments and pollutants, provide a habitat for valuable seafood species, and protect against storms. This beautiful artistry created a realistic exhibit that allows visitors to connect with nature. After seeing and learning the facts about tidal marshes and everglades, i feel an ethical responsibility to nature.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Butterfly Nursery
This exhibit helps us step out of our ordinary lives by reminding us that birth, death, and all the beauty in between are not reserved for just humans. The butterfly exhibit is a place for us to simply admire the wonders our earth has. These delicate creatures are being born, living their lives, and dying all within this habitat that we get to walk through and observe in a single afternoon. I find this extremely fascinating.

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