Florida Museum of Natural History By sarah mar

A Smooth-sided toad I was interested in at the museum.

Nature on Display

As a child, I was always drawn to animal exhibits in museums, especially if there were live examples. As I walked into the first exhibit at the natural museum, the setting had dim lights and frog displays here and there. I was drawn to the lit animal cases that had tiny ecosystems within. It appealed to me because there were live toads living in a case that made learning about this species interesting and interactive to some point. It allowed me to observe and analyze its behavior in its duplicated environment, whereas a website on this animal would never provide me this opportunity. After going through this exhibit, I now know that some frogs have teeth and do not just swallow food that comes in contact with their sticky tongue. Before this exhibit I thought frogs can only eat insects, when in reality their diet consists of larger animals such as snakes and mice. My visit to the Florida Natural Museum was very enjoyable because they had many exhibits that their visitors can interact with and learn about history through a different medium.

A beautiful butterfly eating nectar as well helping in the pollination process.

Nature and Ethics

The Natural History Museum provided many opportunities for me and other visitors to experience nature in ways that we will learn to "love, respect, and admire" the land. For example, the butterfly garden allowed me to observe how not only humans interact in an ecosystem, but how butterflies, insects, and plants all interact to create a balanced environment. As I went through the museum, I felt humbled because there were other species of animals that have lived on this land before humans did. I was amazed by the different sizes and designs of these extinct animals because in comparison to animals and humans today, they were significantly larger. Children more than their parents were ecstatic and wanted to touch everything that was accessibly and get close to exhibits to see how other animals and ecosystems were different than theirs. At the same time, older visitors were calmly strolling through exhibits and taking their time to read captions, rather than getting close to the glass divider. As previously mentioned, the museum had a butterfly garden that allowed visitors to come together with nature and its other inhabitants and observe how other animals behave. My experience at this museum most definitely instilled an ethical responsibility to not take advantage of land for economical reasons. For, as we destroy land to take advantage of its products, we are disturbing those who are in the land and those who are in need of the land.

A picture of me standing next to a huge mammoth fossil.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Museum of Natural History did a splendid job on getting its visitors out of their comfort zone. The first exhibit that visitors see is a roaring image of an extinct mammoth fossil, which makes the visitors feel tiny and not as powerful as they think they are. Continuously throughout the museum, they also provide different models of ecosystems and more fossils of larger animals that once roamed this planet. The exhibits provide a timeline where we as humans can fit ourselves on thousands of years after the birth of this planet. With these exhibits, one receives a reality check to remind them that us humans are not the only important animal on Earth but one of many. A powerful message that is indirectly sent out is that mother nature is more powerful than what we expect her to be. Mother nature can continue living eternally without humans. If we as humans destroy it, then we are destroying nothing but ourselves, for mother nature will always conquer and always live on.

Created By
Sarah Mar
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