Florida Museum of Natural History By Christie Ger, Section 08AB

The butterfly exhibit at the museum really appealed to me because of its aesthetic quality and the presence of so many different types of butterflies. The design of the exhibit included an indoor portion where different butterflies were described and showcased, and an outdoor portion where you could actually see live butterflies and their habitats. The fact that this exhibit had a live portion really allowed me to connect with the beauty of the butterflies and the world they live in. I didn't know the exact habitat of butterflies and their different movements until I experienced it at the museum. The inside portion of the exhibit and other mediums like books or magazines gave me a better understanding too, but not as much as actually watching the butterflies. Overall, I found that seeing the different types of butterflies and the way they lived in their habitat was really enjoyable.
This exhibit of different shark jaws allowed me to experience nature as Leopold recommends. I felt pretty small but amused standing next to the shark jaws, especially since they were all in different shapes and sizes. I sensed a deep admiration for nature because it really got me thinking about how many organisms there are in nature and all their different species and sizes. As I went through the museum, the thought that there are so many living things around us and living in union with us everyday circulated through my mind. As I was looking at the shark jaws, little children passed by and screamed "WOW" at the shark jaws in amazement showing that they were amused as well. The museum really connected their visitors to nature by having different brochures and plaques that described certain exhibits. The exhibits themselves also connected nature with the visitors because of their aesthetic and realistic qualities. For example, most of the pieces in the museum were real artifacts or plants that are found in nature. Overall, my experience at the museum instilled in me an ethical responsibility to be a part of a more "biotic community" because it showed me how although all living things in this world are different, we still live in the same world alongside each other.
The Museum of Natural History displays many exhibits on nature that we don't get to see on a daily basis. For example, we don't get to see animal fossils every day, or see the beauty of different habitats when we walk to class. Therefore, being in the museum and all the exhibits allowed me to step out of my ordinary life to experience something that I don't see on an every day basis. It helps us to better understand who we are by showing us the history of how other humans used to live, and how we lived in different parts of the world in different regions and environments. Seeing all the different animal fossils, plant species, habitats, and even huge bones of wooly mammoths that I didn't know much information about before really allowed me to appreciate the mystery and majesty of the world we live in.
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Christie Ger
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