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The World’s Oldest Aquarium Fish, Granddad, Dies
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, February 7, 2017 @ 10:40 PM (EST)
Source: Chicago Sun Times


For anyone concerned about the treatment of aquarium residents, one lungfish from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium might make you feel a little better. After living a long and seemingly happy life, “Granddad” was finally euthanized at the age of “somewhere in the neighborhood of 100.”

Amazingly, Granddad arrived from Australia just before the Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and had been seen by over a million visitors. According to a press release from Shedd on Monday, the venerable fish stopped eating and displayed signs of organ failure, and the decision was made to end its suffering.

“For a fish who spent much of his time imitating a fallen log, he sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages who would hear his story and learn about the incredible biology that makes his species a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet,” said Shedd President and CEO Bridget Coughlin in a statement. Lungfish have remained virtually unchanged for over 100 million years.

“Granddad lived a pretty relaxed life, enjoyed interactions with us, including gentle pats along his back, and loved to eat his leafy greens,” said Michelle Sattler, one of his keepers. “But, worms were definitely his favorite and he would become quite animated on what became Earthworm Wednesdays, when they were dropped into his habitat—animated for a very slow-moving fish. We loved him. And he will be sorely missed.”

A necropsy will be performed on Grandad and his inner ear will be removed in an attempt to more accurately estimate his age.

Read more here.

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