You saw highlights of the Florida Museum’s collection in our Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @Florida Museum exhibit. Now we want to feature your most beloved natural history finds, objects and artifacts for our Rare, BeYOUtiful & Fascinating virtual exhibition! See a few favorites from Museum staff below.

What to do:

  1. Choose a favorite natural history treasure or one that has special meaning to you.
  2. Snap a picture of it.
  3. Answer these three questions:
    1. What is it?
    2. When and where did you acquire (find) it?
    3. Why do you love it?
  4. Send the photo and your answers to We understand there may be multiple favorites in a single household. Each member of the household is welcome to enter their own treasure.

Members Only: Email your submission by noon on Sunday, May 3, (can you believe it’s almost May?!) for a chance to be featured in the next issue of Membership Monday and┬áreceive a puzzle prize from our Collectors Shop!

Carving of leaf-cutter ant
What is it?

Carving of a leaf-cutter ant made from Tagua nut, the ivory-colored seed of the Tagua palm tree found in the rainforests of Panama

Where and when did you acquire it?

I acquired it during one of the many paleontological research trips to Panama that the Museum did during the Panama Canal Expansion Project from 2009-2015.

Why do you you love it?

I treasure it because I’m fascinated by leaf-cutter ants, I like to support indigenous artisans when possible, and it reminds me of wonderful trips with great colleagues collecting fossils along the Panama Canal.

– Doug Jones, Director, Florida Museum

What is it?

Royal Poinciana seed pod

When and where did you acquire it?

Acquired while living on Grand Bahama Island, 30 years ago

Why do you love it?

Kids used to shake it to hear the seeds rattle inside. Reminds me of very happy times.

– Marie Emmerson, Senior Director of Development, Florida Museum

Royal Poinciana Seed Pod

Angelwing shell
What is it?

Angelwing shell (Cyrtopleura costata)

Where and when did you acquire it?

I found it with my nephew five years ago. He was so excited about it that he brought it home after we came back from our trip.

Why do you love it?

Reminds me of him, my family and fun times at the beach!

– Andreina Hornez Peralta, Creative Director, Florida Museum

We asked for “Six Words for the Planet” in honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and boy did you deliver! Here’s a sampling for you to enjoy.

Six Words for the Planet

  • What can I do to help? – Russell H.
  • Oceans, wetlands, swamps, springs: Mother Earth! – Sarah W.
  • Earth Day 50 years strong, Celebrate! – Linda N.
  • Heal Mother Earth, heal all humankind. – Dianne F.
  • Home sweet home. Family too close. – Bonnie O.
  • Dragonflies dance delightfully despite determined devastation. – Susan N.
  • Tall mountains, deep ocean, let’s go! – Chelsea C.
  • Beautiful. Wonderfully diverse. Our only home. – Nancy S.

This week’s puzzle winner is Bonnie O.! Thank you to everyone who participated! Be sure to submit to this week’s Member Monday Challenge for a chance to be next week’s puzzle winner.