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

Granddad circa 1933 or 1934 at the Shedd

"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.

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.

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

He first joined the aquarium's lineup as one of two lungfish it acquired from the Taronga Zoo and Aquarium in Sydney, Australia. Of course, numerous aquarium's regulars were deeply saddened to find out that the old timer had to be put down, and remembered how they first met the world's oldest lungfish.


"Granddad delighted guests when several times an hour he would slowly rise from his apparent torpor at the bottom of the habitat, slowly flap his large pectoral and pelvic fins, and slurp air at the surface".

He enjoyed a layered cake filled with smelt, shrimp, yellow squash, carrots, potatoes, and green peas decorated with seaweed, esca-role and silversides for his 80 anniversary in September of 2013.

Facebook user Nathan de Rover posted on the aquarium's Facebook tribute to the deceased leviathan: "Granddad meant a lot to me".

Ever since the lungfish was placed in its new enclosure, it managed to steal the hearts of its caretakers and tourist who would, more than often, swing by to see Granddad's gimmicks. "He seemed as permanent a fixture at Shedd as the terra cotta fishes that decorate the building inside and out". But if you haven't been to the Shedd in a while, check out these photos of the aquarium's favorite fish. 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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