The Florida Museum asked its members to share their most beloved natural history treasures for an online exhibition. Enjoy a few of their submissions below!


cow skull
What is it?

Cow skull from Newberry, FL

Where and when did you acquire it?

It came to me from an elementary student.

Why do you you love it?

I was teaching an art class about Georgia O’Keeffe and he liked her painting of a cow skull in front of red, white, and blue. He brought this to school in a grocery store paper bag the next day for me. I’ve had it over 35 years and I treasure the impact art made on that young man.

– Louise B.

What is it?

This is an ordinary piece of Ocala Limestone which has been extracted from the ground and formed.

When and where did you acquire it?

I found this in a rural area near Alachua, Alachua County, Florida in 1999.

Why do you love it?

I love it because it was part of the foundation of my great grandfather’s circa 1888 home.

– Russell H.

Ocala limestone

carved driftwood
What is it?

It is a carved piece of Lake Superior driftwood.

Where and when did you acquire it?

I got it at Art on the Rocks Festival in Marquette, MI, when I lived there in the 1980s.

Why do you love it?

I love it because it brings back memories of when I lived there and because the wood came from Lake Superior which ironically at the time I bought it, reminded me of the clear springs of Florida where I was born and the driftwood from Florida’s beaches.

– Cheryl H.

What is it?

I think this is a graptopetalum superbum leaf that is propagating. The leaf is growing a tiny new succulent on the end!

Where and when did you acquire it?

I got the original plant from a farmers market and took off a leaf about a month ago so I would have another succulent.

Why do you you love it? I love this item because it is so special. To think that an entire plant could regrow from one leaf is insane! It would be like if fingernail clippings grew new fingers. It is just amazing to see and watch grow.

– Lila A.

propagating leaf

Fish Vertebrae
What is it?

It’s a fish vertebra! But if any scientists can tell me more than that, I’d love to hear it!

Where and when did you acquire it?

I found it while snorkeling at Salt Springs while taking an underwater drawing class late in 2018.

Why do you you love it?

I love it because it reminds me of all the wonderful treasures yet to be found underwater. The day I found it was a glorious fall day filled with swimming and new friends.

– Chelsea C.

If you’d like to submit an object to be included in the exhibition, please send a photo with your answers to these three questions to

  • What is it?
  • Where and when did you acquire it?
  • Why do you love it?