Nature on Display: The Butterfly Rainforest immersed me in nature more than any other exhibit at the museum, allowing me to fully experience and appreciate the habitat for butterflies. I particularly admired the layout of this exhibit, in that it was outdoors and large enough to walk around in. At one point I saw a monarch butterfly feeding on a rotting banana and grapefruit, and I learned that despite being known for feeding on flower nectar, butterflies actually feed more on things like rotting fruit, feces, sap, and decomposing animals. If this exhibit were through a different medium, I most likely would not have taken the time to observe the feeding butterflies, and I would not have learned this information. Being able to be a part of nature and see the butterflies flying all around me helped me enjoy nature in an immersive and compelling way.
Nature and Ethics: It is important that people heed Leopold's warning that conservation efforts could fail due to a lack of appreciation, and the Florida Museum of Natural History absolutely made me more aware and appreciative of the world around me. This exhibit in particular, The Sixth Mass Extinction impacted me through depicting some of the species that are facing extinction in our lifetime. While walking through this exhibit and reading the information on the plaques, I learned that humans have played a large role in the endangerment of many of these species, and therefore humans must bear the responsibility for maintaining biodiversity. I noticed many people stopping to read this information and looking at the pictures, proving that the museum enabled people to connect with this issue. The emotions I felt while walking through this exhibit were concern and responsibility, and I now realize my duty towards the environment.