Lung Fish At San Francisco Museum Believed To Be Oldest Living Aquarium Fish In The World

Thursday, January 27th 2022, 7:29 am
By: CBS News

Methuselah is the oldest person mentioned in the Bible, said to have lived to be 969 years old.

It may not be quite that ancient, but a primitive creature living in a San Francisco museum, named after the biblical character, is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

Methuselah is a four-foot-long Australian lungfish, weighing around 40 pounds.

The primitive species have lungs and gills and are believed to be the evolutionary link between fish and amphibians.

Brought to the California Academy of Sciences in 1938 from Australia, Methuselah was already believed to be around five or six years old. So biologists now estimate Methuselah to be 90.

There was another Australian lungfish living at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago which reached the age of 95, but that fish named Granddad died in 2017.

Methuselah's caretakers also believe the fish is female, although it's difficult to determine the species' sex without a risky blood draw.

The Academy will send a tiny sample of her fin to researchers in Australia, who will try to confirm her sex and figure out her exact age.

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.

In the meantime, they say they'll continue giving her the best care, including her favorite treats: fresh figs and belly rubs.