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!
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.
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.