By: Kayleigh Larkins
For my virtual field trip at the Smithsonian Museum, I decided to explore the Butterfly Pavilion.
As soon as I open the site and started reading just the names of the exhibits, I was curious to know more about them. Ones such as the Butterfly Pavilion. Seeing them do so many different categories was incredible. I thought it was very interesting though because the Butterfly Pavilion and the Hall of Fossil Deep Time, which is the dinosaur exhibit, are two completely different thing but can make one person curious about both.
I started going through the Butterfly Display and I was amazed! I found out that the Giant Hawk Moth, could have an eight-inch-long tongue, and the Madagascar Star Orchid has an eight-inch-long throat! And honestly that pretty terrifying if you think about it. I also found out how freakishly similar a hummingbird and a butterfly are. A hummingbird and a butterfly both have evolved long mouth parts, making it easier for them to get plant nectar. Both the hummingbird and the butterfly pollinate the plants on which that feed. Not only is the hummingbird have related characteristics and abilities but also bats, bees, and a variety of unrelated animals. The process that all these animals have experienced is called Convergent Evolution.
The number of butterflies over the years have increased by about 20,000. 170 million years butterflies didn’t even exist, today there is 135,000 moth and 20,000 butterfly species. And some of the ones that were alive 20 million years ago, have disappeared and new ones have come into existence. The Smithsonian has the quote, “Butterflies and plants interact with each other – sometimes as friends, sometimes as foes.” demonstrating that it just depends but butterflies and plants co-exists.
I think the Smithsonian Museum was a great place to pick for a virtual field trip. I think that it was a great experience just to look around and using our online resources. Most of us probably won’t get the chance to visit the Smithsonian in person so I think the fact that we got to online was amazing. And I really enjoyed this experience learning about things we talk about in everyday life but know very minable about.