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From the Daily Herald in Chicago, USA:
The oldest aquarium fish in the world celebrates 75 years at the Shedd
By Laura Stewart | Daily Herald Staff
We’ve been peeking through the glass at him since the year Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president.
“He was here when Model Ts were pulling up to the Shedd,” said Roger Germann, Shedd’s director of public relations. “Granddad bridges so many generation gaps.”
At 4 feet long and 25 pounds, Granddad is the color of a faded brown blanket, with charcoal age spots dotting his back.
He was named by a Shedd volunteer years ago, and has gone on to become one of the aquarium’s most popular residents.
“Hey! See the one with the spots — he’s been here since 1933!” a Shedd visitor shouts to a companion, while dumping half of his popcorn bag on the floor in excitement.
“I love Granddad — he’s so cool,” coos a teenaged girl, pressing her nose to the tank.
Lounging at the bottom of the 6,000-gallon tank he shares with four other much-younger Australian lungfish, a few turtles and some smaller fish, Granddad is the picture of tranquility.
Playful turtles dart around him. One stops to nibble his tail.
Granddad’s cloudy eyes occasionally turn to gaze out at the endless parade of humans on the other side of the glass — just as he’s been doing for three-quarters of a century.
Granddad made his journey, via steamship and train, from Sydney, Australia, to Chicago for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
At the time, scientists estimated that he was at least 5 years old and was fully mature.
George Parsons, director of fishes at the Shedd Aquarium, says that would make Granddad 80 now — perhaps even 85. Scientists have no idea how long a lungfish can live, he said.
“Granddad is very comfortable,” Germann said. “He gets the best care possible — the water temperature is just right, the food is just right.”
Granddad is fed three to four times a week with a variety of seafood, including smelt, small frozen fish and shrimp, Parsons said. He also likes to tear into heads of romaine lettuce that caretakers occasionally plunk into his tank.
But the old lungfish’s favorite treat by far are sweet potatoes — served raw and chopped.
“He eats really well, and looks like he is enjoying life,” Parsons said.
It is not Granddad’s age that makes him so sedentary, Parsons said.
Australian lungfish are not known to be active at any age. They lie in wait, camouflaging themselves and hoping to snap up anything that might be swimming nearby, Parsons said.
“They look like a big log,” he chuckled.
Mary river in Australia: here.
The biggest [fossil] lungfish on record has been uncovered in an unexpected place – a drawer in the Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln: here.