My Trip to FLMNH By nicholas denfeld

As I walked into the FLMNH ( Florida Museum of Natural History) I was overwhelmed by all the immersive exhibits along with exhibits that prompted thought about ethics in the natural world as well as influenced my ideals about who I am and why I am. This is the story about my thought-provoking experience at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Nature on display: This is me standing in front of the west coast of Florida exhibit.
The migrations of different animals in Florida

I found this particular exhibit very welcoming and appealing to me as I have grown up near the beaches of Florida for most of my life. When I saw the artificial sand dunes along with all the wildlife that they inhabit I was taken back to all the vacations I've taken to various beaches in Florida. The migration chart above in addition to the immersive exhibit taught me not just about monarch butterfly migrations but also taught me how the monarchs fly when they are migrating. I actually saw the congregation of butterflies hovering over the artificial sand dunes and I was able to see how they could travel such long distances despite being so small compared to a bird. In my experience at the museum, I found that the vibrant colors and the organization of the exhibits in a way that truly put you face to face with nature very enjoyable.

Nature and Ethics: This is me standing in front of an informational piece about the consumption of frogs.

The Museum allowed me to understand Leopolds ideal that we need to be members of a "biotic community" especially when I saw this piece of the impact of mass frog consumption in the world. This allowed me to appreciate the all organisms in the world and separated my connection between animals and their utility as food. After seeing this, I walked through the museum with a higher appreciation for all those animals used as a food source along with those animals that have gone extinct because of people's desires to consume them. I don't feel that the people around me experienced this same appreciation as most of them were families with little kids who were more attentive to the educational games they have in the museum. I felt that the museum allowed people like me to connect to nature via informational exhibits that prompt thought about our relationship with nature in addition to providing a way for younger people to connect with nature via the educational activities provided by the museum. I felt that I left the museum with a newfound appreciation of all animals even the ones we see as food and I think this is what Leopold was trying to pass on to future generations.

Nature and the human spirit: This is me standing in front of the fossil of an American mastodon.

I was absolutely amazed when I saw this fossil because I never knew that something that big was once roaming the country I call home. In my normal day, I'm used to going to class/work, eating, and sleeping but here I was standing next to this colossal skeleton of an animal that no longer exists. This was crazy to me. I was prompted to think about all the extinct organisms that have ever existed and that the fact that I am composed of atoms that were once inside animals like this. The natural world mysteriously produces these awe-inspiring creatures and I am lucky to say I am descended from them. I am what I am right now because of the natural processes of the world.

The End


photo 1: this is me standing in front of one of the frog exhibits next to some frogs.

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