This exhibit displayed the jaws of various species of sharks throughout time, most of which are now long extinct. The jaws were lined up next to each other in a way that allowed the reader to compare them. I found this design very helpful as it allowed me to make direct connections between them in real time. I was immediately drawn to the megalodon jaw. I had read about them and seen computer generated versions of them lined up next to other species, but I had never imagined they were really this large. One of them eating us would have been like us eating a french fry! I do not think I would have really understood just how enormous they were if I had not experienced them through this media. I found standing on front of the jaws enjoyable, as it was amazing to see just how puny I would be if I ever encountered one of these creatures. I also thought it was really interesting to compare the megalodon jaws to those of the great white further along in the exhibit, as it made even the notorious predator seem shrimpy.
As I went through the museum I really felt as if I was part of the natural world, as Leopold describes. The exhibits really put things into perspective, especially the section on evolution. The whole exhibit featured life-sized skeletons of long extinct species. Having them be life sized really allowed me to see that humanity was not always the top predator on the planet, that we are only a small component of the natural world. I think other people felt the same way, as I saw many small kids standing next to the display of the ground sloth and looking up in awe at its size. I saw the same reaction from adults as well who seemed to compare it to their own size and chuckle in amusement. Most of the exhibits were very interactive and allowed visitors to get up close and personal. For example in some exhibits you could push buttons to hear calls of native birds and in others you see butterflies ready to emerge from cocoons. My experience there definitely strengthened my ethical responsibility to nature. It made it feel like something even more special and made me regret the damage we have done to it even more. I took a picture next to this condor exhibit, as the California condor almost went extinct at one point. However, due to conservation efforts, their population has been revived. Seeing the model in the museum made me hopeful that humanity can fulfill this ethical responsibility to nature.
The natural history museum helped me step out of my ordinary life as it allowed me to walk through the natural world in a very different way. For example in the section of the museum that is pictured, visitors can walk down a hall that is recreates a coral reef but makes you the size of a fish. It was really amazing to walk through and see what it is really like in a reef. I thought this was really amazing because I have never experienced that setting through that perspective. It was also interesting to see how the various species interacted with the environment, like the eel making its home in the submerged wood. The museum also had recreations of Native American housing, which also helped me step out of my ordinary life, as it almost felt like going back in time upon entering them. I also got to see how these people interacted with their environment in the ways they hunted and gathered food. I think these experiences and others I had really helped me understand the how strange and different other animals' and people's experiences are. Their interactions with nature were things I had never appreciated as fully as I do now if I had not visited the museum.