Granddad, Oldest Aquarium Fish In The World, Dies At Shedd Aquarium

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 6, 2017 11:50PM


The world's oldest aquarium fish, a longtime Shedd Aquarium resident, has sadly shuffled off this mortal, aquatic coil. Granddad, a male Australia lungfish and Chicago mainstay since 1933 (!), was euthanized after the old timer stopped eating and exhibited hallmarks of organ failure, according to press release from Shedd on Monday.

Granddad arrived from Australia just days before the 1933 World's Fair and has been seen by over a million visitors, according to Shedd.

"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," President and CEO Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Shedd notes that Lungfish "have remained virtually unchanged for over 100 million years." And Granddad definitely sounds like he settled into a comfortable pattern of his own.

“Granddad lived a pretty relaxed life, enjoyed interactions with us, including gentle pats along his back, and loved to eat his leafy greens," Michelle Sattler, collections manager of Granddad's care provider for three decades, said in a statement. "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.”