Nature on Display: One display that was particularly appealing to me was the display of prehistoric shark mouths/jaws. It caught my attention because right as I walked in the hallway I saw a mouth so large it could swallow me whole, which is amazing (only because the shark is extinct and can't actually eat me). I knew that there were large prehistoric sharks, but I never knew that they could grow that big and had teeth almost the size of my hands. Even if I were to read about them or see a picture, I would never be able to imagine just how big they were in real life. I appreciated being able to see how I compare to the mouths, and it was enjoyable to get a picture where I looked like food compared to the massive shark mouth behind me.
I think the Natural History Museum allowed me to experience nature in the way Leopold recommends, particularly through the frog exhibit. I got too see many different species of frogs from all around the world in little terrariums. I heard them croaking and watched as some of them hopped around while others just sat on branches. In this exhibit and in others, I was able to observe a model of nature with all of the relevant information presented with the displays. Others in the museum could learn about each exhibit, and many visitors brought their children so that they could learn and see nature exhibits that they might be interested in, like I was as a kid. I believe that the museum does give us an ethical responsibility to nature. One example of this was in the frog exhibit, as there were many displays talking about how the frogs were endangered because of environmental problems. These frogs were losing their habitats and dying because of the actions of man, which feels completely unethical on our part. We obviously can not just kill innocent animals like frogs, which means that we have an ethical responsibility to protect their environments so that they might live. This is a message that is very clearly conveyed in the Natural History Museum through these types of exhibits that present nature up close.
One way the Natural History Museum lets us step out of our ordinary lives is through all of the native American/prehistoric American displays. These types of displays show us the people living here long before us, who used the resources of the land to live, which connects us to an eternal human spirit, like Heschel believes we should. This eternal connection to nature helps us better appreciate the majesty of the natural world by showing that human civilization comes from nature, and that all that we've built from was once simple and from the land. The Natural History Museum lets us experience the culture of people from hundreds or thousands of years ago, who founded those civilizations from nature.