Natural History Museum By: Mindy Higley

Nature on Display

The Butterfly Rainforest was a lot of fun because of how close you are to the things in the exhibit. It was also was a really cool exhibit to experience with other people because of its interactive nature. Sara, Shawn, and I were all able to point out different butterflies, and even some birds to each other that we may not have seen on our own. Having live butterflies flying around is definitely a more interesting way to learn about them than just seeing them on a pin board of insects. Something that was cool to learn about was how they eat and the extension of their proboscis into specific plants. Certain plants try to be more attractive to butterflies so that they are the primary pollinators of those plants, and so the plants attract butterflies by using tubes filled with nectar in order to make it easy for butterflies to extend their proboscis to eat. It was really cool to actually see them do this in person and gave a new level of insight that would not be attained through just reading about it. I enjoyed this exhibit in particular because of how open and fun it was to have a variety of butterflies popping in and out of view.

Shawn, Sara, and I with a butterfly!

Nature and Ethics

The frog exhibit is what I think came the closest to Leopold's idea of having a biotic community. By educating museum goers on different species of frogs and the environments and habitats they live in, it helps to foster a world view that is ore about taking care of and understanding animals as they are. Seeing an exhibit where a species is actually able to move around and do its normal functions provides a stronger understanding and connection with the animal we are viewing. When actually viewing the frogs and knowing how many species dying out due to different fungi infections from their water and loss of natural habitats causes me to feel an ethical responsibility to want to help preserve their environments.


Nature and the Human Spirit

Since it can be hard to take a moment to appreciate nature regularly, the natural history museum is helpful in allowing us to see things that we normally wouldn't see. In my case, I was able to look at a display of shark jaws. I found this display the most striking because it shows intimidating predators of the ocean, most of which that have gone extinct. Being able to view an animal that is larger than I am was a step out of the every day waters of life. It helped me to appreciate where I belong in the scope of the world.


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