Florida Museum of Natural History Preserves Life in Gainesville

April 28, 2011 at 11:57 am EST

Gainesville is alive and thriving at Florida's Museum of Natural History. More than 30 million different species of mammals, reptiles, insects, and pretty much any other breathing creature find be found in one of the museums many exhibits.

One recent permanent exhibit to the museum is the Butterfly Rainforest. This four-story screened in building houses between 60 and 80 species of butterflies and moths that fly freely around the oasis of wild flowers and foliage. Visitors can spend hours walking the relaxing trails, watching the colorful insects fluttery around and listening to the cascades of the exhibit's waterfalls.

Education is a major focus for the museum, which offers specialty classes for children to teach them everything from how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly to how native Floridians traveled along the Everglades in homemade canoes.

The museum is also equipped with a unique technology that helps to preserve some of their more delicate artifacts. The Genetic Resources Repository's research and advancements have made it possible for the proper preservation of specimens by cryogenically freezing them. More than 30,000 samples are currently preserved this way and will be around infinitely for future molecular research.


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