Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bones & Bugs

We spent yesterday out of the sun (and rain) and in the air conditioning at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.  We went to our local museum a couple of weeks ago, and while there was some cool stuff, it is really a little disappointing compared to what I remember it being as a kid.  Next time we go, we'll see the Planetarium show.  Hopefully that will still be as cool.

Anyway after our trip to our museum here, Caleb wanted to go to the one in G-ville, and see some more skeletons.  Of which, there were plenty...



There were tons more.  A mastadon, ancient sea creatures, all kinds of mammels.  All found in Florida.  Awesome!

Caleb's new obsession is sharks.  Luckily, there were sharks at the museum as well.  Mostly Jaws...


No, not that Jaws.  These...

Scary thought, most of these were found in the St Johns River.  All extinct, except the one on tha far left (great white).

They had a section about Native Americans in Florida.  Mostly the Calusa.  Lifesize figures, and awesome tiny dioramas.

Did I mention the bugs?  The Florida Museum of Natural History has a huge butterfly research department.  There is the Butterfly Rainforest, which houses hundreds of species from around the world, a hatchery where you can see butterflies in all stages of development, and several exhibits.

Truely amazing!  We have't toured the Rainforest yet (it costs a little extra) but plan to do it on the next trip.

The featured exhibit, CSI: Crime Scene Insects, is about forensic entomology, or the role of insects in a crime scene and how investigators use insects to solve crimes.  Awesome and disgusting.  Lots of live flies, maggots and worms.  There was a cool thing that shows the life cycle of a fly.  I wish I could explain it, but just take my word, it was cool!

So that was our day.  Well, that and driving back home.  We had to turn around and go back to Gainesville today for my niece's 14th birthday.  All in all, not a bad way to spend the last Friday before school starts.  We have a full few days leading up to the first day of school.  I can't wait!

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