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An Intellectual Engagement: The Museum of Natural History

Ever wondered into a place where you just get lost in? Like the feeling of getting lost in a good book just became a reality instantly?  For me, a “freshie” with a knack for curiosity, that special place can only be found in the most unexpected. A place that I only knew existed after a walk-in through an open, air-conditioned room at the Science Complex, with a plaque etched “Rodrigo B. Gonzales Museum of Natural History”.

In the main hall of the exhibit, the entire room could be a time machine, with the large collection of scientific discoveries gathered over a large period of time. The first time you’d walk into the room, you’d think it was a taxidermist’s dream—various kinds of animals, all in a preserved state of taxidermy.

The museum is home to many mammals—common and uncommon. A complete skeleton of a horse, and shells of large sea turtles reside in the hall. Books do not even begin to describe the beauty that these animals truly present in real life, so the museum also gives you a rare glimpse of the physical appearances of many forest felines, boars, and critters. Numerous birds and their eggs can also be seen in their posed state. Even a well-preserved, enormous ostrich egg adds to the natural feathery wonders that call the museum home.

Insects and creepy crawlies are also displayed in the museum, which shows that even the tiniest of creatures matter. Flies, enormous species of moths and butterflies, and majestic beetles lets us explore the beauty that the insect kingdom can provide.

Amphibians and reptiles also take the spotlight of the museum. All kinds of snakes, ranging from the poisonous to the constrictors, can be seen. Frogs, toads, and even leathery alligator skins hang on the walls of the museum.

Exoskeletons of the various species of crustaceans and sea creatures that can be observed there tell a beautiful story of evolution. In the first two glass cabinets show corals; in this case calcium carbonate exoskeletons form a varied number of shapes and sizes and can be observed in their artistic nature. Even a large number of the fish remains can be observed. These include a real pufferfish, a dangerous fish that has a defence mechanism of bloating up and revealing lethal spikes against hopeful predators. The display of life in the museum lets you visualize the immense amount of life that the deep blue waters of our oceans contain.

Apart from animals, the museum also holds many researches and displays of projects to save Mother Nature and her children. For me, museums like these hold the paramount derivative of us human beings to not only observe, but also to protect all the animals from calamities—natural and man-made. Our responsibility is to make sure that the next generation also sees the beauty of the animals, and how to protect them. And through the unique insights of the animal kingdom that museums hold, we can secure our future and theirs as well.

By Benhur David Cemini

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