Nature Activity at FLMNH Ashleigh maher

Nature On Display: The Butterfly Garden

The most appealing exhibit at the Natural History Museum was definitely the Butterfly Garden. It completely immersed you in a tropical room full of exotic and common butterflies that you would probably not be able to see many places in nature. The design of the garden was comfortable, warm, and inviting to everyone in it and it is for sure one of the most important parts of the museum. Before entering, there was a trail of butterflies soaring into a room with huge displays of more butterflies all over the wall. You then entered the garden to see them fluttering around all the species of trees in flowers in the garden. In nature, it would be almost impossible to see a display like this unless you lived in or near a tropical rainforest. It was truly a unique, incredible, and creative display that one will not find just anywhere in the world.

Nature and Ethics: Interactive Nature

A very large part of the museum was focused on the preservation and appreciation of nature in many biomes. There were exhibits on the wildlife spheres as well as a special presentation on the importance and protection of frogs in the wild. These were huge reminders on why we should protect our earth because the natural cycle can only be restored by humans if we want to keep our planet. I had no idea how many animals and plants were going extinct without a thought until the exhibits explained how and why. There were not many people at the museum, it consisted of a few parents and their children. All of the exhibits are very interactive and kid-friendly, so the children were not only having fun, but also learning a lot about the world around them. It was extremely simple to connect with nature at this museum, because you are literally thrown into replications of natural habitats. My experience definitely reminded me of Leopold's beliefs that we must become one with nature to truly appreciate and guard it from harm.

Nature and the Human Spirit: Shark's Mouths

For starters, the museum is pretty far from where I live, so it got me out of my everyday routine. Inside, there are exhibits for every part of earth, but one of my favorites was a presentation of shark's mouths. One of my favorite places is the beach and one of my favorite animals is the shark, so I felt at home. Only one mouth in the display, the Great White's, was not extinct which was alarming since sharks are an important apex predator. Some of the jaws were larger than anything I have seen before and it was almost impossible to imagine how huge these animals would be if they were not extinct. The display made me stop for a while and look at every single giant set of jaws and rows of huge teeth and realize how small we really are as humans. We may be the "top of the food chain" but there are many animals, including sharks, to remind us that we are not the only fierce predators on earth. The majesty of these jaws also reminded me that we should recognize our place as defenders of the planet and of these creatures, not the destroyers. This museum takes one to another world, one of appreciation and diversity, that educates them on how beautiful and grand the earth is.

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