Longest Living Fish: Grandad Lungfish That Came to Aquarium in 1930 Finally Passes

Posted by Stacey Venzel
M. Spencer Green/AP via Chicago Tribune

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago said goodbye to the oldest fish in the world, "Grandad," at nearly 100 years old.

Reptiles and birds are known for their longevity, and some goldfish have broken records by living into their 20s. But a fish recently set the world record for living to be almost a century old.

"Grandad," a lungfish living at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, passed away on Monday. He came to the aquarium in 1930 and was then estimated to be in his teens.

The four-foot-long, spotted fish lost his appetite over the past week before showing signs that his vitals were giving out. He was humanely euthanized at this time. Grandad outlived four other lungfish at the aquarium and was observed by an estimated 104 million guests during his time in Chicago.

Patrice Ceisel/Shedd Aquarium via Chicago Tribune

Grandad was brought from Australia to the Shedd Aquarium in 1930 for the World Fair. Shedd President and CEO Bridget Coughlin spoke to the fish's fame at the aquarium, saying;

"For a fish who spent much of his time imitating a fallen log, he sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages. (They) 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."

Lungfish, also called salamanderfish, are a rarity in that they are able to breathe air. Betta fish are also known for their ability to take in oxygen outside the water due to a lung-like organ.

Grandad's species is native to Australia, Africa, and South America.

Can you believe this fish was from the 1930s? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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Longest Living Fish: Grandad Lungfish That Came to Aquarium in 1930 Finally Passes