Nature Activity at the Florida Museum of Natural History Good Life

Nature on Display

Butterfly Rain forest

My friends and I first went to the butterfly rain forest, the main exhibit, ant the Florida Museum of Natural History. When we first entered, we saw a small amount of butterflies resting on the sides of the mesh in the exhibit. I was able to speak to two of the workers at the garden which they explained that most of the butterflies were hidden in the plants since the weather was a bit cold. In order to stay warm, they hid under the numerous tress, bushes, and other plants. The exhibit was expertly designed with a path that weaves you throughout the entire rain forest. Along side the path are miniature waterfalls, colorful flowers, and feeding plates for the butterflies and birds.

Taken inside the Butterfly rain forest at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Nearing the exit, we saw dozens of butterflies on a path of bamboo chutes. What drew my attention was their ability to camouflage themselves on the green plants that absorbed the exhibit. This small representation in the museum shows how all types of butterflies use their color, size, and other abilities to hid in nature. In addition to the butterflies were the birds since we couldn't see too many butterflies due to the weather. The birds had a wide spectrum of colors and sizes that encapsulated how birds can adapt to their physical environment in the real world. Some birds had multiple vibrant colors across their body and wings which was a reflection of the environment of the exhibit that was filled with all sorts of colors from the plants. The design of the exhibit, the friendly staff, and the assortment of organisms in the exhibit made the aspect of nature made our experience worthwhile.

A butterfly camouflaged in the leaves of bamboo
Variety of finches perched on a branch and eating food

Nature and Ethics

Once our group finished walking around the butterfly exhibit, we were able to see a laboratory that assisted the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies.

Dangers from humans

While these caterpillars are safely housed in a rearing lab, millions of cocoons are at risk in the natural world. Not only from biological process and food chains, but from human activity. The role of humans play a severely negative role on metamorphosis. From pollution to the the tearing down of rain forests to make paper products, animals including the caterpillar/butterfly are at risk.

While walking through the museum, I noticed countless panels on the walls advocating the decrease of pollution and aiding the environment. One demographic showed how the destruction of habitats by humans is the root cause of endangered species and population loss of butterflies. After reading this, I came to batter understanding of the environment we live in. Especially in Florida, where there are many beautiful and exotic ecosystems, the messages of the Museum of Natural History opened my eyes to the dangers we as humans have caused on the environment. After seeing all different species of butterflies and other organisms, I found a new respect for the environment and the world we live in.

The collection of different species of butterflies that line an entire wall shows the diversity of butterflies and of nature
This information panel shows how destroying the home of a single animal also destroys an ecosystem for trillions of other species.

Nature and the human spirit

The experience of the Florida Museum of Natural History allows us to set aside time from the chaos of our daily lives and to appreciate the beauty of nature and the stories it contains within it. Most notably, the cultures of the Native Americans in the past shows an appreciation of the land and the connection between humans and the environment. Many cultures of the Native Americans of the past show their belief in animal spirits and how they look up to the land as something more powerful than themselves. Unlike ourselves in today's society, the people and their cultures displayed in the museum devote their time to connecting with the land they live on. I believe if society can take the time out of their life where humans come first and nature second and instead seek a greater appreciation of the environment, then they can find a new view of life and nature.

Left: Myself in front of a Native American women making traditional clothing. Right: A Native American Family outside of their house
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. -Albert Einstein

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