Florida Museum of Natural History By Keina Aoita

Nature and Ethics

One of my favorite exhibits was the frog exhibit displaying almost all the frogs and toads in the world. They had frogs the size of dollar coins to the size of a human hand. Although the frogs were very interesting to see, one thought crossed my mind. These frogs are being raised in-doors, and will most likely will never see their own natural habitats where they belong. Yes the exhibit was meant to be educational but is it humane to keep animals even amphibians from their homes for the human's sake? There were many facts and information displayed on the walls near the frog's homes and one was that there are still problems today where people would hoard too many frogs at their house as pets which leads to neglect. Perhaps it is rather best for the frogs and toads to stay in their habitats if such an issue is not resolved.

Nature on Display

Another part of the museum that peaked my interest was the section where they displayed many fossils of animals to creatures that are extinct today such as the Megaladon and the Giant Ground Sloth.

This ginormous fossil behind me was the Giant Ground Sloth or Eremotherium eomigrans. One of the largest North American ground sloth, you would expect that this scary looking creature would be carnivorous but they are actually vegetarian. By looking at this sloth, I first thought it would carnivorous! I also expected the sloth to be fast because of it's large legs but it's actually considered slow in movement.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Leaving the best for last was the Butterfly Rainforest. This was the entrance of the rainforest and the museum reinforced a strong fan above the two doors to prevent any stray butterflies from escaping.

The first thing I noticed were tall windows and leaning trees. One tree which looked like the only tree was a tree with pink flowers blooming at the top. This tree seemed to be the only tree of it's kind at the rainforest.

So many butterflies were blissfully flying about, gliding in front of me and back, even at my feet. I had to walk so slowly because the butterflies would land on the ground and stay there no matter how close I got to them. Like this butterfly here that looks more like a moth, I was able to take a picture so close to the creature.

Some of the butterflies blended with the ground so I could have accidentally stepped on them but I was careful enough to notice them on the ground.

Although the rainforest was smaller than I expected, it was a secluded new world that I have never seen before. Stepping into the rainforest was like stepping into another dimension. The butterflies and birds were co-existing together in this small habitat without any problems or worries and flew so close around me like I was always part of their home.

This shows that humans although are very different with all the creatures on Earth, we are part of nature as well. Nature is trying to tell us that we too can co-exist with one another just like the butterflies and birds in their small ecosystem. We can eventually solve our problems and come together as one, and develop a peaceful relationship.

Here was the exit of the rainforest and back to reality. The trip through the rainforest was a memorable one and taught a valuable lesson as well. Appreciate every small detail in life because you only live once and experiences cannot be repeated.

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