Nature On Display
The fossils exhibit was one of my favorites because it showed a timeline of when each species existed, along with to-scale representations of each animal being described. I especially loved this exhibit because it included the original sea cow and a modern manatee, and manatees are my favorite animal! The exhibit captures your attention with the dark lighting and the animal fossils hanging from the ceiling. It also grabs your attention by showing animals of great size, which was a little scary, but intriguing nonetheless. I learned about sloths in more depth about evolution and timeframe than I could have ever with a quick search on the internet. Sloths used to be bigger than modern day bears! The experience at the museum was enjoyable because it reminded me of how beautiful and mysterious our world is, and how much we should appreciate it. I found love for the earth to be a major theme throughout the museum.
Nature and Ethics
Although the museum did a wonderful job highlighting the different aspects of nature, and the different reasons to appreciate our world, most of the exhibits were fake, besides the butterfly rainforest, so the experience was not so "natural". However, I felt amazed at the many ways that nature has impacted the way we live, as well as how other species live. I sensed urgency in the idea of protecting our land and the animals on it. I thought each exhibit highlighted a different aspect of nature and its importance, not to economics, but to natural balance. The fish exhibit in particular opened my eyes to the food chain that is disrupted when humans consume large quantities of fish. By killing off the fish population, we are hindering the survival of species of bears, large aquatic animals, and birds. While humans have many other sources of food, these animals may not. I felt a sense of appreciation for fish that I had never payed attention to before.
The exhibits allowed me to connect with nature by highlighting how nature has been a part of daily life forever, and how each piece of nature has its function in sustaining the whole. In this exhibit, one can notice that their home is built from a material like hay. Natural plants have protected them from other forms of nature such as weather and predators. This is the balance that is required for our earth to be sustained.
This exhibit highlighted what humans can do daily to contribute to the protection and sustainability of our planet. While viewing this exhibit, I felt an ethical responsibility to make changes in my daily life, and to protect nature, for the ways in which humans can make a difference are very minor and not tedious. We should protect the earth that has given us the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, for we would have none of those things without it. This exhibit highlighted how much our life impacts nature, and why we should appreciate it, for it has given us a means to live.
Nature and the Human Spirit
The FLMNH allows us to step out of our ordinary lives by reminding us of what is beyond our everyday cycles. Most people do not spend a large portion of their day outside, and rather, spend it stressing, worrying, and hurrying to meet deadlines, due dates, and timeline progress points. By becoming engulfed in nature, people are reminded of the very basic reason humans exist: to make more humans. Our basic function is survival, and our basic reason for living is to sustain the earth and its balances and cycles. We can better appreciate the natural world because we are reminded that there is more to this world than us, and that we are part of more than just the human population, we are part of the earth's population.