Nature and the Human Spirit
The biggest teeth are those of a Miocene megatoothed shark (Carcharodon megalodon). I overheard a guide saying how these sharks used to be as long as 60 feet long.
The Florida Museum of Natural History allowed me to "connect to the eternal" (Heschel) through the various fossil exhibitions in The Hall of Florida Fossils because I was able to learn a little bit about the lives of animals that used to exist a long time ago. Some animals that exist today, such as the sloth, have evolved from these ancient creatures, such as from the giant ground sloth, and bring a sense of eternity into current nature as well. It is an out of this world experience and feels so surreal to presence fossils like these ones because the fact that these animals once walked the Earth is incredible to fathom. These creatures actually existed way before we did, and today we are able to step out of our ordinary lives and travel back in time through these exhibitions. Personally, this helps me understand that there were fascinating things that existed before me, and there will be even more fascinating things that will exist after me, so I might as well make the most of my time and do as much as I possibly can to at least leave a mark behind. The fossil exhibition helped me appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world by making me realize that everything in life is constantly changing and that is what makes life beautiful.
Giant Ground Sloth (Eremotherium eomigrans). Alive in Florida 2.2 to 1.5 million years ago and grew up to 15 feet tall.
American Mastodon (Mammut americanum). Alive from 3 million to 10,000 years ago. Skeleton found in Aucilla River. They ranged from 8-10 feet and weighted 5-7 tons.