HomeWorld NewsMeet Methuselah, the oldest living aquarium fish

Meet Methuselah, the oldest living aquarium fish

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat recent figs, get stomach rubs and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

In the Bible, Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather and was stated to have lived to be 969 years outdated. Methuselah the fish just isn’t fairly that historic, however biologists at the California Academy of Sciences consider it’s about 90 years outdated, with no recognized living friends.

Methuselah is a 4-foot-long (1.2-meter), 40-pound (18.1-kilogram) Australian lungfish that was delivered to the San Francisco museum in 1938 from Australia.

A primitive species with lungs and gills, Australian lungfish are believed to be the evolutionary hyperlink between fish and amphibians.

No stranger to publicity, Methuselah’s first look in the San Francisco Chronicle was in 1947: “These unknown creatures — with inexperienced scales trying like recent artichoke leaves — are recognized to scientists as a attainable ‘missing link’ between terrestrial and aquatic animals.”

Until a few years ago, the oldest Australian lungfish was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. But that fish, named Granddad, died in 2017 at the age of 95.

“By default, Methuselah is the oldest,” said Allan Jan, senior biologist at the Academy and the fish’s keeper. Methuselah’s caretakers believe the fish is female, although it’s difficult to determine the species’ sex without a risky blood draw. The Academy plans to send a tiny sample of her fin to researchers in Australia, who will try to confirm the sex and figure out the fish’s exact age.

Jan says Methuselah likes getting rubbed on her back and belly and has a “mellow” character.

“I inform my volunteers, fake she’s an underwater pet, very mellow, mild, however in fact if she will get spooked she could have sudden bouts of vitality. But for the most half she’s simply calm,” Jan stated. Methuselah has developed a style for seasonal figs.

“She’s slightly choosy and solely likes figs when they’re recent and in season. She will not eat them after they’re frozen,” said Jeanette Peach, spokeswoman for the California Academy of Sciences.

The Academy has two other Australian lungfish that are younger, both believed to be in their 40s or 50s, Jan said.

The Australian lungfish is now a threatened species and can no longer be exported from Australian waters so biologists at the Academy say it’s unlikely they’ll get a replacement once Methuselah passes away.

“We just give her the best possible care we can provide, and hopefully she thrives,” Jan stated.



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