Tour of The Florida Natural History Museum By Ian Webb

The Florida Natural History Museum is a window into the world around us. Going to the museum allows us to see Nature on Display, learn about Nature in Human Ethics, and appreciate Nature and the Human Spirit.

Nature on Display

Me in front of the Blue Poison Dart Frog Exhibit.

Seeing a large section of the Museum devoted to frogs reminded me of two White's Tree Frogs that I owned as pets when I was in Middle School. Because of this, I chose to enter the exhibit and see the various species of frogs. This particular exhibit caught my interest not only because it had the best lighting, but also because it reminded me of one of my favorite collections of wildlife: The Dallas World Aquarium, which has a large rainforest-like exhibit that tourists can explore. One of the exhibits was a tank much like this one that contained Poison Dart Frogs. As somebody who has never been to a rainforest, this exhibit provided me a window into what their habitat may look like, and more importantly, what they look like. The part of my experience at the museum I enjoyed most was seeing living creatures like the frogs and the butterflies, because they are much more engaging than text on a wall.

Nature in Human Ethics

Me posing with the Fossilized Colombian Mammoth.

The living things in the museum allowed to to make a strong connection with nature. However, the fossils of what once lived reminded me that our existence affects all of the living things around us, not just other humans. While the Elementary School class in the museum looked at the mammoth in awe, I saw something that our ancestors are believed to have driven to extinction. Touring the museum reminded me that it is our ethical responsibility to try to preserve the life around us that our rapid expansion and urbanization threaten.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Me enjoying the Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit while several butterflies enjoy some fruit behind me.

Although I was only at the Museum for a very brief hour between two classes in my thoroughly packed schedule, the time I spent museum really did allow me to step out of my life for a moment. Even though I was in a rush, I did not feel like I was rushing while I enjoyed the exhibits in the museum. The best part of the museum for me was the Butterfly Rainforest. Stepping into that exhibit is like leaping into the screensaver on a Windows PC. The vast collection of butterflies flying around is truly a sight to see. In the same way that the museum employees are the caretakers of the garden, all of us are the caretakers of the world and the nature it contains. It is important for us to preserve the beautiful little gifts nature has left for us like butterflies.


Ian Webb

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