Florida Museum of Natural History DAvid Berryman

Introduction: Today I went to the Florida Museum of Natural History with one of the friends I made in Calc class last semester. I had never been before and I was thoroughly excited to see what I could learn from the museum exhibits and look at the beautiful butterfly gallery. I learned a lot from the exhibits surrounding native american history of Floridians, our indigenous ancient species and all of the beautiful landscape that florida has to offer.

Me standing in front of the landscape mural in the FMONH

Nature On Display: I found the mural painted in the wildlife and ecology section section to be particularly interesting. I was reading the plaque and learned that this mural that took 2 years for the artist to paint because of its massive size, included over 70 different types of plants and showed a wonderful depiction of the climate that florida enjoys, being sunny one second and rainy the next. Because I am a biology major with a particular interest in plants, I very much appreciated the exhibits having to do with wildlife and the living world around us. Because of the massive mural, I think I was better able to appreciate the complexity and overall size of the interacting ecosystem that Florida is graced with.

Nature and Ethics: When thinking of the points brought up by Leopold about how conservation efforts are doomed to fail unless we value diversity and the world around us, I cant help but think about all of the previous failures to conserve life on this planet. Exhibits like the ancient and extinct indigenous creatures exhibit show all of the biodiversity that has already been lost without the possibility of recovery. There are some creatures like the dodo bird that were not appreciated, and then hunted to extinction. Walking through the exhibit of all the extinct creatures was almost surreal, like walking through a graveyard, and while we can appreciate the fact they existed, they are nonetheless gone forever. We must appreciate the life an landscape around us now in order to maintain the biodiversity and enjoy the complexity that currently exists in our beautiful Floridian ecosystem.

Nature and the Human Spirit: Going into the butterfly exhibit was one of the most serene and transcendingly calming experiences I have had since coming to UF. The beauty of the garden and beauty of the butterflies flying all around and landing on the people as they walked by was truly a unique experience. I think that the lesson that the butterflies teach is one about the diversity and beauty of all life. The butterflies were all different, flew in different ways, ate from different sources, and interacted with

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