Florida Museum of Natural History created by: Mary Ananditha kommareddy

During my visit at the museum, I came across a beautiful butterfly rainforest. It was filled with butterflies of all kinds of colors and patterns. Butterflies captured in photographs don't nearly display how magnificent they look in real life. Their gracious way of flight and their bright bodies decorate the sky. I truly enjoyed walking through the butterfly rainforest and learning about all the different varieties of butterflies there are like swallowtail and greta. It was cool that they grow live butterflies in the exhibit. I enjoyed looking at the stages of butterfly growth in person because I have only ever seen it in books. I saw the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. A fun fact I learned is that butterflies attach their eggs to leaves with a special glue.

An amazing part of this museum are the fossils they show! This world has evolved significantly from the beginning of time and discovering fossils has always been a way for present humans to decipher how the world used to be. To think creatures as big as these mammoths and even dinosaurs existed is mind blowing. Fossils make us see the world outside of the bubble we live in. It helps us imagine how different life used to be. Whats even more complicated is how these creatures all of a sudden went extinct. This universe is filled with so many mysteries that no human has been able to understand. We can only come up with theories like climate changes or meteor crashes. This is where our imagination can play in- uncovering the bones of extinct creatures and piecing them together to form a body and predicting how they lived. Our world once underwent a huge ice age and that is the time mammoths were alive. Nowadays, we consider Antartica and the Arctic to be dangerously cold, but at one point all of earth was like that. Imagining how life was back then through these fossils is truly just fascinating. It makes us appreciate the mystery and majesty of our natural world.

This picture here is of my friend in front of the mudland exhibit. As we walked through the museum together, this scenery especially made us discuss how important it is to conserve the natural habitats in this planet. The more humans are expanding, the more nature is being destroyed. Natural habitats such as mudlands, grasslands, rainforests, swamps, etc are rapidly going through deforestation and destruction due to human interventions. The consequences include loss of biodiversity and sometimes even endangerment or extinction of a certain species. For instance, the Florida Panthers are on the verge of extinction because their habitat is being depleted more and more each year. This museum showed me how crucial natural habitats are in sustaining life on this planet. My friend in this picture reacted the same to the exhibits. We both were in awe at how all of life on earth is supported, but upset at knowing we are destroying life on earth. Like Leopold, I felt an ethical responsibility to preserve and conserve our land. This museum really allowed visitors to connect with nature by displaying 3-D exhibits of nature and animals, making them look so realistic. One could even mistake some exhibits as authentic.

All images taken by Mary Ananditha Kommareddy and Abhinav Kom.

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