Good Life Nature Activity Ipek ceylan

On my trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History, I was excited to discover more about the rich history of Florida, since I know the state of Florida has the oldest settlement in America located north in St. Augustine and expected there to be a great deal of history behind all of Florida. There were various exhibits that appealed to me and my favorites were the ones that involved the underwater displays, including the over-sized fish head that I chose as a cover photo since it was my favorite part of the museum. The best parts of the museum were the displays of butterflies and the life-like sculptures of giant fish and even bugs!

Here I am with a giant bug hiding in a giant plant similar to a huge version of a Venus Fly Trap.

The exhibit I found to be most appealing was the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land exhibit since it was organized in periods of time and showed not only the land creatures but also the sea creatures of the different periods. I felt as though I am a part of history myself and one day our fossils as mankind will be preserved somewhere. There was a part of this Fossils exhibit that featured simulated life from different periods of time underwater, but it was too dark to photograph. This was of the most interesting parts to the exhibit along with the over-sized jellyfish and tentacles presented. The fossils show that we make up such a small percentage of time that the world has existed and really put things into perspective for me.

Here I am next to the mouths of extinct sharks except for the Great White which is much smaller than ones pictured in this photograph.
Here are some fish from the exhibit featured with small informational data.
Here are some parts of the exhibits. In the middle picture, I am terrified of the giant fish that appears as though it is hiding. The fossils on the right reminded me that teeth are also fossils and how Great Whites may not have been the topic of Jaws had these such creatures still existed.

Nature and Ethics: The exhibit that best instilled the sense of a connection with nature and an ethical responsibility to it as Leopold imagined was the South Florida People and Environment exhibit, which included information on the Calusa people of southwest Florida. The Calusa people thrived among the rich nature of Florida and hunted the animals they found there regularly, making use of hand-made tools and objects. They used materials from the land to fish, including nets made of fiber from palm trees and corrals to catch fish. The Calusa people lived in very close proximity to the water so their diets were based off of what they caught--making it a fishing-based society. What fascinated me most was that the Calusa people did not over-fish and damage the wildlife there, even though they may have had the opportunity. Instead, they made use of the remnants of the creatures they caught including their teeth, shells, and bones. For instance, from killing a shark, the Calusa people would yield oil that could be used as mosquito repellent, teeth that would be used as weapons, and even skin for sandpaper. Walking among the tools and environment of the Calusa people made me feel more connected to nature and sparked the ethical responsibility of treating it fairly as well as returning as much to nature as I take from it.

Here I am pictured at the hut of the leader of the Calusa people, one of the simulations located in the exhibit. The Calusas utilized natural resources to live--this included using them for forms of shelter from the elements as well. On the right photo, there are descriptions and a miniature display of the fishing habits of the Calusa people.

Often, we forget to make important connections to the universe and the outer world when we are troubled by our daily personal struggles. The Natural History Museum allows us to take a step out of our daily lives and remember that we are much smaller in force than human nature. Although we have discovered ways to control nature, such as constructing dams or influencing weather, we are never able to fully control it and this museum serves as a reminder of how insignificant we are as humans. The exhibit in this museum that I find best makes us feel minuscule is the Northwest Florida: Waterways and Waterlife exhibit, which included this display of mangrove trees and various wildlife. Among the shrubs the walls were made of images of clouds that gave the impression of a vast expanse of Florida wildlife. What made me feel as though I really were in the presence of the force of nature was the simulated thundering noises that were coming from above.

Here I am in the mangrove forests, right before I am startled by the crash of simulated thunder and a sign of soon-to-come rain.

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