The Florida Museum of Natural History Megan Bohan

----Nature on Display: Megalodon Jaw---- I thought this exhibit depicting the large shark jaws was very jaw dropping and eye capturing. This clearly depicts the immense size of some of the creatures who used to inhabit the ocean, as well as some who still swim around today (the Great White shark). The jaw that I am standing in front of belongs to a Megalodon, a now extinct creature. This display defiantly captured my attention because standing in front of it, it becomes clear that this animal could easily eat me in one bite. My ability to stand in front of the jaw and see that it is close to my height, and the teeth are about the size of my hand, really brought a new level to the experience rather than just reading the dimensions out of a textbook. I will defiantly remember this exhibit for it made me realize that although humans rule the earth and are considered the smartest animals, there were, and are, creatures out there who's sheer strength and size are no match for humans.
---Nature and Ethics---- This exhibit appealed to my belief in the importance of conservation ethics. Living in Florida, I have been lucky enough to be close to a nice beach. It was always a great way to escape for the day with my family or friends. However, without concern or proper care for nature, beautiful places, like the one depicted in this picture, can easily become tainted and ruined. It is increasingly important that we learn to appreciate the land and see it as a delicate and crucial part of our lives. Viewing ourselves as part of the “biotic community” is one way in which we can begin to make a conscious effort towards conservation and respecting the environment around us. When looking at this exhibit I felt a bit nostalgic for home for the sandy beach reminded me of the one I used to go to all the time with my parents and friends. Gainesville doesn’t have too many beaches close by, so it was easy to have these feelings reminding me of home when looking at this exhibit. In addition, depicted in the sand was a turtle nest with baby turtles just hatching. This is something that I have always wanted to see. Seeing this depiction defiantly instilled in me the ethical responsibility I have to help care for our beautiful earth we live on. If we don’t all make a conscious effort to respect our environment more and realize that we are all part of the same biosphere, then beautiful places like this can easily be destroyed.
----Nature and the Human Spirit: The Butterfly Garden---- This exhibit was absolutely phenomenal. It was a new experience for me walking through a butterfly garden. It was amazing to see how well kept everything was in there. Everything looked to healthy and happy. My two friends and I spent a good hour in there walking very slowly around and looking for butterflies. A large part of our time was also spent just sitting on the benches and soaking in everything around us silently. It was so refreshing to feel a part of an ecosystem to alive, healthy, and beautiful. It was defiantly a way in which I was able to step out of my ordinary life and just enjoy the beauty around me. I found myself not wanting to look at my phone or do anything but just sit and watch everything around me. This natural world defiantly had a tranquilizing effect on me. It also reminded me greatly of when I used to live in Singapore for it was also a place with many green, healthy, tropical plants. Being in college it is often times hard to find a place like this, where you feel so lucky to just be allowed to experience the beauty that is around you and be a part of it. The butterfly garden defiantly reminded me of the magic and mystery that nature possesses so graciously. I believe it is incredibly important to take time in our daily lives to connect to the outside world and just take a minute to sit down in nature without distractions and take in and feel everything around you.
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Megan Bohan

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