Historical Museum

Aug 03, 2008 by Janine
On Saturday we stopped by the Plantation Historical Museum. It is a pretty cool little place. They had an exhibit on the ice-age fauna of Florida, with replica skeletons of many long extinct creatures.

Its hard to imagine Florida as home to Saber-tooth cats, Mastodon, giant armadillos, and Giant Ground Sloth. But during the last ice age, Florida was drier and cooler, and consisted of wide expanses of savannah. The extinction of the megafauna is thought to coincide with a period of rapid climate change and the arrival of paleo-indians to the region, both occurring approximately 10,000 -12,000 years ago.

Saber-tooth cat

American Lion (larger than modern African Lions!)

It was also interesting to note that many animals that now reside in South America were once found in Florida as well. Fossil remains of Capybara and Tapir, which now reside in the Amazon, have been discovered in Florida alongside those of ice age megafauna. This is due to the sea levels being much lower at that time, which created a larger land bridge between the two continents that enabled mass migrations of plant and animal species.


Plantation Historical Musuem also houses the Plantation Fire Department museum. I was amazed to learn that they are staffed almost entirely by the Plantation Volunteer Fire Association.

The original Fire Truck (still used for parades and official functions)

I thought these Firefighting Balls were strange. Apparently they contain carbon tetrachloride, which would put out a fire by starving the flames of oxygen. The heat of the fire would break the glass, releasing the fluid. Carbon tetrachloride was banned from use in fire extinguishers in the 1950s because it is harmful to human health. I had no idea such a thing existed.

So that was our trip to the museum. Details of the Everglades trip to be posted later this week.


Aug 10, 2008, 05:10:33 oldcrow wrote:

You always have such interesting pictures on here. The cat skulls are fascinating.

Aug 11, 2008, 19:56:34 Janine. wrote:

Thanks OC. I try to do different things now and then so its not the same old alligator-wadingbird-snake routine ;)

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