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According to the San Francisco biologist that manages Methuselah, the oldest living aquarium fish in the world loves belly rubs and is living her best life in her aquarium.
The fish was given the name Methuselah, who was Noah’s grandfather in the Bible and was said to have lived to be 969 years old. Obviously, the fish is not that old but she has impressively outgrown all the other fish to reach an age of around 90 years old, which is many more years than any other aquarium fish has lived before.
Methuselah is a 4-foot-long (1.2-meter), 40-pound (18.1-kilogram) Australian lungfish that was brought to the San Francisco museum in 1938 from Australia.
She is a primitive species with lungs and gills and is believed to be the evolutionary link between fish and amphibians.
Methuselah’s first appearance in the San Francisco Chronicle was in 1947: “These strange creatures — with green scales looking like fresh artichoke leaves — are known to scientists as a possible ‘missing link’ between terrestrial and aquatic animals.”
It was just a few years ago that the oldest Australian lungfish was staying at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. However, that fish, named Granddad, died in 2017 at the age of 95 and Methuselah has taken the title.
“By default, Methuselah is the oldest,” Allan Jan said, a senior biologist at the Academy and the fish’s keeper.
Allan believes the fish is female however, it’s difficult to determine the species’ sex without a risky blood draw. He says, though, that they plan to send a tiny sample of the fish’s fin to researchers in Australia, who will try to confirm the sex and figure out the fish’s exact age.
all Allan said. Methuselah has developed a taste for seasonal figs.
“She’s a little picky and only likes figs when they are fresh and in season. She won’t eat them when they’re frozen,” Jeanette Peach said, a spokeswoman for the California Academy of Sciences. “We just give her the best possible care we can provide, and hopefully she thrives,” Allan said.