dglobalnews.com Shedd's 'Grandad' - world's oldest aquarium fish - dies
Published: Thu, February 09, 2017
Research | By Kayla Price

Shedd's 'Grandad' - world's oldest aquarium fish - dies

It was reported that the elderly lungfish lost interest in his food and had organ failure, a side effect to age-related complications, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"It is incredible to know that over 104 million guests had the opportunity to see Granddad in our care and learn about his unique species over eight decades", said President and CEO Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D.

Grandad wasn't just the oldest fish at the Shedd Aquarium, he was the oldest fish in any public zoo or aquarium.

Granddad was already a teen when he was brought from Australia to the Shedd Aquarium in 1933 with his mate for the World's Fair, three years after its opening.

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Granddad the lungfish, who had lived at the aquarium since 1933 and was the oldest captive fish in the world, was in a state of rapidly declining health. "During his almost two-year hiatus in a reserve area, staff members repeatedly assured anxious aquarium members and other guests that their favorite lungfish was doing fine and would be back on view in a spacious new habitat recreating a Queensland riverbank ecosystem".

Australian officials participated in a Shedd party to mark Granddad's 80th anniversary at the aquarium. Lungfish have remained virtually unchanged for over 100 million years.

It was at that same party that the aquarium reckons Granddad had his fanciest-ever meal: a layered cake "filled with smelt, shrimp, yellow squash, carrots, potatoes, and green peas, decorated with seaweed, esca-role and silversides". "Granddad meant a lot to me", Nathan de Rover commented on the aquarium's Facebook page. "Granddad outlived several generations of caregivers, and some current staff members never imagined that they'd see him gone during their careers", the aquarium wrote.

Granddad appears to have been a firm favorite for numerous aquarium's visitors. They expect to be able to pinpoint Granddad's age because bones in lungfish ears add layers over the years - much like trees.

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