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Granddad the Australian lungfish celebrates 80 YEARS at Shedd Aquarium

By Leonard Ho - Posted Sep 20, 2013 09:00 AM
At 80 years in captivity, Granddad is the oldest known fish in any aquarium in the world. On September 17, 2013, the Shedd Aquarium celebrated his anniversary in grand fashion with a public ceremony, official Chicago proclamation, and of course a birthday cake!
Granddad the Australian lungfish celebrates 80 YEARS at Shedd Aquarium

Granddad, the Australian lungfish. © Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Granddad arrived in Chicago in 1933 as a mature adult so his real age is unknown (estimated at around 85 years old). This week, he celebrated his monumental 80th anniversary at Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.  As part of his celebration, granddad was treated to a special birthday cake "with smelt, shrimp, herbivore gel squares, yellow squash, green peas, grated carrot and sweet potato frozen inside. Two tiers are covered with seaweed frosting and garnished with shredded escarole greens, carrots and raspberries."

Granddad is nearly four feet long, weighs over 20 pounds, and shares his large "down under" exhibit with four companion lungfish as part of a breeding program.  Australian lungfish (a long-lived but slow-breeding species) are unfortunately now a threatened species.

Happy birthday, old friend!  May we be blessed to look half as good as you when we hit 80.


Anniversary cake made from ice and fish treats. © Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez


Collections Manager Michelle Sattler accepts official proclamation from Australian Consul-General Roger Price with Shedd President and CEO Ted A. Beattie and Senior Vice President of External and Regulatory Affairs Jim Robinett. © Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Granddad’s ice cake floats at the top of the Australian lungfish exhibit. © Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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