Florida Museum of Natural History By: Kyle Ardavin

Nature on Display: In Fall 2015, I took an environmental science class at Broward College. I was just taking this class to get credit towards my AA degree, but there was a part of this class that fascinated me. For my final, I had to do a research project about a fossilized species. As soon as I began looking into pictures of different fossils and the story behind them, I became addicted and ended up spending hours looking on my computer. This is why the fossilized species exhibits were so fascinating to me. It is crazy how the structure of the bones can tell the story of time and show how evolution works. This one pictured of a shark is so fascinating to me. I inspected this fossil very closely and saw the many little details within it. Looking at it made me envision a massive shark attacking its prey. I was able to get so much more out of looking at this fossil in person. The size of the mouth cannot be captured in a picture. It is very intimidating standing so close, feeling as if you are about to be swallowed in by a Great White.
Nature and Ethics: I have never been one to go out and explore nature. I felt like being in nature couldn't really teach you anything. That being said, I was not very enthusiastic about coming to a natural history museum, but I am always open to new things so I gave it a chance. As I started to walk through the butterfly rainforest, I started to notice all the beauties of nature. Seeing the butterflies fly around made me feel at piece. Then, I saw a couple of people reach out to try and touch the butterflies. That made me realize something. Why are we given the right to trap these wonderful creatures in a museum where people can touch them and disturb their natural habitat. What if we were in the butterflies' place? We definitely would not like someone trapping us and then trying to disturb our habitat. It seemed like no one cared about how the butterflies are being affected. I realized that every species has the same amount of right to be here and who are we to try and make it our own?
Nature and the Human Spirit: People nowadays are so caught up in life that we don't have time to think about what it is. We are so focused on looking what is happening now that we don't see the grander picture. We are a species that has evolved through millions and millions of years. The world today was a lot different than how it was a year ago. Now think about how it was 15,000 years ago. This is when a creature looking like this roamed the Earth. This is a fossil of an American Mastodon. You can see the similarities between this and a modern day elephant. This is what this beautiful fossil made me think about. It reminds you of how long Earth has been around and how short of time we make up in the grander picture. It makes us realize how blessed we are to have this time on here and how we should appreciate every moment of it.

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