World's Oldest Fish Granddad Dies At Shedd Aquarium

Posted: Feb 7 2017, 6:08am CST | by , Updated: Feb 7 2017, 7:25am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Granddad, World's Oldest Zoo Fish, Dies at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
 

An Aussie lungfish nicknamed Granddad due to its extreme longevity died in its aquarium which is located in Chicago. It was the oldest living fish in the world till the time of its death.

Granddad was the moniker given to a lungfish that hailed from Australia. It was the oldest fish on the face of the planet and it resided in a tank in a Chicago aquarium. It died on Sunday.

A prehistoric living specimen, this fish had been in the aquarium since it opened in 1930. When it came to the aquarium, it was in its teens. It lived beyond the 90 year mark and may in fact have been a 100 years old.  

Since the past week or so, Granddad was not feeling well. He had stopped taking an interest in his food. Things went from bad to worse on Saturday when the old fish faced an imminent shutdown of vital signs.

So this oldest of fish in Chicago, not to mention the rest of the world, was administered a dose of mercy killing. It was put out of its misery via euthanasia.

Many of the aquarium staff and other visitors felt a great deal of sadness and dejection upon the death of this unique species of fish which had defied the odds and lived for such a long time.  

In August of 2016, another favorite zoo animal also died. This was a cockatoo named Cookie. It was a resident of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and had been there since 1934. It too died due to the ravages of age and the wear and tear of time.

As for Granddad, its story is an interesting one. It was shipped in from Australia along with its mate in 1933. Although not very interesting in its physiognomy (it looked like a tree trunk) it still piqued the curiosity of many of the visitors who frequented the zoo.

After hearing the history and habits of this oldest fish in the world, the onlookers would be amazed and amused. Over 104 million visitors had seen the lungfish before its death. 

In tribute to Granddad, Shedd Aquarium's President and CEO Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D., said. “It is incredible to know that more than 104 million guests had the opportunity to see Granddad in our care and learn about his unique species over eight decades.”

She also noted that the famously sedentary fish “sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages.”

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