Florida Museum of Natural History Alice Rodriguez

Nature on Display: The Frogs exhibit was awesome in my opinion, starting with the way the exhibit was set up. The whole exhibit was in one large room that had dim lighting except for the frog habitats. This automatically drew my attention to the frogs themselves since you could barely see the people anyway. In addition, throughout the room, there were quotes and nuggets of information both about the frogs and their habitat. For example, frogs breathe through their skin and have to be moist all the time so they secrete a mucous in order to keep wet. Actually being able to see the Frogs from up close, allowed me to see some of their interesting anatomical parts and their mucous. Also, I found out that frogs are extremely sensitive to their environment so they are considered ecological indicators, and in our present world, the loss of frog species is an indicator that we need to change the way we handle pollution.
Nature and Ethics: From the moment I walked into the museum, I could sense that it was truly a place of learning and curiosity. There were lots of children doing interactive experiments and looking at replicas of animals long gone from the earth. Each exhibit immersed me into a different subject of the natural world. For example, the sea life exhibit had huge sea creatures in a hallway that was painted blue with a soft blue light. Walking through it felt like swimming underwater. The Native American exhibit had the same feel due to the life sized natives and huts. I think the museum does a great job in instilling an ethical responsibility in everyone that goes in, because it tells you what once was and makes you yearn for a time when giant three-toed sloths walked around. In addition, it informs you about the problems we face today with nature preservation and extinction and invites you to be a part of the conversation and conservation of our natural habitats.
Nature and the Human Spirit: Being inside the museum, allowed me to step away from any problem I might have had at the moment. In the Butterfly Garden especially, I felt like I was in a completely different world. Some of the butterflies even landed on my head which certainly made me and a few others laugh. It was calm, peaceful, and almost surreal. I was really happy there and it reminded me how much I love the natural world. When I was a child, I would run around and bring bugs and animals inside the house, to my poor mother's dismay. Being around natural things brought out a different state of mind, which is much more instinctual and untouched. Nature is absolutely beautiful and I think that when we immerse ourselves in it, we find that we reflect that beauty back and are reminded that we belonged and still belong to nature first and foremost; it's our origin, our beginning.
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Alice Rodriguez

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