Hello, I'm Duncan Elliott, a UF first year student, enrolled in Good Life. Recently, I went to the Florida Museum of Natural History and this Spark Story records my experience and the lessons I learned from my trip
Nature on Display
The highlight of my experience at the Florida Museum of Natural History was the Butterfly Garden. This was the first time I was able to see a large amount of butterflies up close and personal. I really enjoy how much space the butterflies received. In the safe space, there were given a lot of freedom. They were able to fly around a lot and not be as restricted as other exhibits could have made them. I dislike going to zoos because I don't like seeing wild animals confined to very small areas, but I really enjoyed the butterfly garden because it seemed like they had plenty of space to freely move around in. The colors of the butterflies was the first thing that caught my eye. Their wide range of patterns and designs is very interesting. I was able to see how the butterflies interacted with each other and how they got along. I would not have been able to see these live interactions inside a textbook or lecture. My favorite part of the experience was when a butterfly landed on my head.
Nature and Ethics
I felt like one of the more interesting exhibits was the new Frog exhibit because it had a purpose. It wanted to go beyond informing and tried to make a push for conservation and care for the frog species. It gave some interesting facts and a wide range of enclosed frogs to examine and understand. I like that it was trying to bring attention to an important topic of conservation. I feel like the exhibit made me care for the frog species and experience Leopold's ideals. The children loved going around the exhibit seeing all the different frogs and displays, which was nice to see a new generation caring for such issues. As a whole, the new exhibit put a spotlight on the issue as a whole.
Nature and the Human Spirit
One of the coolest displays I saw at the Museum was the lineup of shark jaws spanning from the average shark jaw to the jaw of the largest shark in history, the Megalodon. It gave a very cool perspective on the history of sharks and an idea of scale that I would have never have gotten if I didn't see the display. I understood the term "largest shark" but didn't really understand until I saw it. I would never had been able to experience such a paradigm shift in my regular day to day schedule. It really shows how large and ancient this earth is and how we are a tiny part of a huge chain of species that have, are and will exist.