GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida faculty and staff are invited to enjoy free admission and gift shop and plant sale discounts at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3.

UF employees will receive postcards through campus mail, which may be presented at the front desk for free admission to the “Wild Music: Sounds and Songs of Life” and Butterfly Rainforest exhibits. Employees who do not receive a postcard may present a valid Gator 1 ID for free admission. Employees may also show their Gator 1 ID to receive a 10 percent discount in the museum gift shops, including butterfly-friendly plant purchases. All other museum exhibits are free.

“The staff and faculty represent UF’s most valuable asset,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Director Douglas Jones. “By offering free admission to our two fee-based exhibits, the Florida Museum can show its appreciation to the staff and faculty for all they do to enrich our community.”

Other permanent exhibits include “Our Energy Future,” “Explore Research,” “Collections are the Library of Life,” “Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land,” “Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife,” and “South Florida People & Environments.”

In addition to “Wild Music,” which closes Jan. 2 other temporary exhibits include “Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas,” on display through fall 2013, and “Birds of the World: From Science to Art,” on display through April 29.

Families may also enjoy the Discovery Room, scheduled to close Jan. 1.

The Butterfly Rainforest is a 6,400-square-foot screened, outdoor enclosure with tropical plants and hundreds of living butterflies from around the world. Rainforest employees conduct butterfly releases with a brief presentation in the exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

“Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life” explores the biological origins of music and offers a wide variety of interactive activities focusing on music in different environments. Visitors can play a number of musical instruments, listen to the songs of whale and bird species and experiment with devices like an electrolarynx, a mechanical device used to help produce speech, or a hydrophone, an underwater microphone.

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Source: Douglas Jones, 352-273-1902,
Writer: Alyssa Wang
Media contact:  Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,