Butterflies. Bones. Boring? Not at all. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) and would definitely visit again. I especially enjoyed strolling through the Butterfly Rainforest. The FLMNH provides a vast amount of excellent sources of knowledge for curious minds about the many wonders of life on earth.
Nature on Display: Mammalian Fossils Exhibit
For as long as I can remember, I have always shown an interest in fossils. Homo sapiens seem less impressive when compared to all the majestic creatures that once roamed the earth. This exhibit particularly caught my attention not only because it displayed fossils, but also for the reason that it provided a holistic view of what the creature would have looked like when it was alive. Additionally, this exhibit fosters an aura of awe that comes from seeing how the species on earth have developed. I also enjoy imagining how different life would be had any of those beautiful, large, potentially dangerous creatures still existed in our world today. The picture below shows the food chain in action between a giant bear-dog and a three-toed dwarf horses. Who doesn't want to live in a world with three-toed dwarf horses? I suppose if that were the case we would have to deal with a great many creatures much more threatening than a dwarf horse.
Nature and Ethics: Butterfly Rainforest
I believe that my experience at the Natural History Museum reminded me that humans are not the only ones on the earth. As such, I think because humans often end up causing much destruction and change to habitats worldwide, we have a duty to preserve the biotic communities we invade. Who are we to decide that our species is more deserving of resources than a species of bear or buffalo? I honestly believe the Butterfly Rainforest is where I and many other visitors felt most 'connected' with nature. The butterflies are all so beautiful and fly with such grace. They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and have so many quirks like how some are excellent at camouflage. The butterfly in the picture above to the left is a Tree Nymph. The one on the right is a Pink Rose. In the Rainforest, surrounded by these amazing creatures, I did indeed feel the need to "love, respect, and admire" butterflies, and nature itself as Leopold imagined.
Nature and the Human Spirit: Under the Sea
The Natural History Museum helps us step out of the closed shell of civilization that we live in everyday. It reminds us that even though we may not experience or interact with many of the creatures or environments in the world, they are out there and hold key purposes to making the world go round. The exhibit above shows a beautiful jellyfish and scary frog toadfish. I don't come into contact with either of those creatures, but I respect their places in our world. In regards to an underwater habitat, the majority of the ocean remains a mystery. Species are going extinct. New species are being discovered. The Museum will always serve as a reminder that there will always be new things to explore and learn about outside our personal lives.