Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH

Introduction

The Florida Museum of Natural History allowed me to view the different ways nature is displayed in the museum, consider ethics and nature, and learn about nature and the human spirit. The Butterfly Rainforest exhibit allowed me to feel like I was fully immersed in the natural habitat of these butterflies in a college town. Furthermore the other exhibits such as the Fossil exhibit gave insight to the history of the natural earth long before humans. After the tour I have learned to appreciate nature and its effects on humans more.

Nature on Display

Ancient fossils in the wall of the exhibit
A ray hanging from the wall

One exhibit that stood out in the museum was the Hall of Florida Fossils Evolution of Life and Land. The exhibit stood out because of the use of lighting. The exhibit had very dim lights so it gave me the feeling of being underground where these fossils in the exhibit were. Furthermore the rocks on the walls contribute to the feeling of me being underground. Also the ray that was hanging from the ceiling, along with the darkness, gave the feeling that I was underwater. These fossils give insight to the history of nature because of the different species that were alive on earth. The fossils displayed the way the earth changed from the pliocene epoch which was about three million years ago to today. All of the fossils allowed me to visualize the way these species looked. Through a different medium, the size of the species in the exhibit would not have been fully appreciated by me. Being able to compare the size of the species to other ones allowed me to learn more about the lifestyle of these species. The experience of learning about the different types of species through their fossils made the exhibit enjoyable. For example the giant ground sloth, which was one of the fossils on display, looked a menacing animal, however it was very slow. Also comparing the size of that sloth to the size o a sloth today was interesting because it explains the way that these animals have evolved over the millions of years due to changes in the earth or other factors.

Giant ground sloth fossil

Nature and Ethics

Butterfly Rainforest exhibit

The Butterfly Rainforest exhibit allowed me to appreciate nature to the extent that Leopold recommends. Being immersed in a replicated natural habitat of the butterflies allowed to appreciate the beauty of nature. It made me feel like I was part of the natural world. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate nature because of all of the manmade buildings that surround us in our daily lives. Being in the rainforest exhibit allowed me to not just observe but smell and touch nature. As I was walking through the exhibit I thought of other rainforests and other natural environments around the world. It made me realize how these animals depend on their environments to survive, giving me a greater appreciation for nature. Other people in the exhibit were fascinated by the beauty of the butterflies and the habitat of the rainforest of the exhibit. Many people were reading about the butterflies and I heard one lady say, "Wow, did you know that butterflies followed the male to the water," to here kid, as she was reading about the different facts about the butterflies. By literally allowing the visitors to immerse into the natural habitat of these butterflies, the museum lets its visitors to connect with nature. Furthermore, the facts that the visitors can read allows them to appreciate nature more allowing them to connect with it even further. Before going to the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit I appreciated nature and thought that humans needed to conserve it. Following the visit, it gave me a greater appreciation for nature and increased my understanding of the ethical responsibility, need to conserve and protect the environment. Also outside of the butterfly exhibit there was another exhibit were it demonstrated the ways that humans can reduce their damage to the environment in their homes by reducing the energy consumed in the house.

Butterfly rainforest exhibit
Examples of ways that we can reduce energy use in our homes

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Butterfly Rainforest exhibit helped experience a different type of setting to my ordinary day. Rarely I am surrounded by so much green that was in the Butterfly Rainforest or see all of the different types of butterflies and species that were displayed in the exhibit. It helps us better understand who we are because it demonstrates the way nature makes us feel and we become united by the way we feel. One of the facts that was in the exhibit was called "Puddle Puzzle." It is about the way that butterflies gather in a drinking spot and scientists are puzzled by the reason for this behavior. It reminded me that although humans have learned much information about the natural world, we still have much to learn. The more we learn about nature's mysteries the more we realize that we do not know about the mysteries of nature. Because of that reminder that we can not fully answer all of the questions regarding mysteries of nature, I have learned to appreciate the majesty of the natural world. Even though we do not know much about some of the behaviors of the butterflies we still appreciate them and that demonstrates the way that humans are able to acknowledge the mysteries of the natural world.

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