Shedd Aquarium marks 80th anniversary of lungfish

  • It's been 80 years and counting for Granddad, Shedd Aquarium's Australian lungfish.

    It's been 80 years and counting for Granddad, Shedd Aquarium's Australian lungfish.

Associated Press
Updated 9/18/2013 8:41 AM

It's been 80 years and counting for Granddad the Australian lungfish.

That's how long he has lived at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium after being brought there for the 1933 World's Fair. And on Tuesday, the aquarium will mark the occasion with a party.


Granddad will get an ice cake that includes some of his favorites: smelt, shrimp, peas and squash with a seaweed frosting. And there'll be a special presentation for guests featuring Shedd officials, Australian Consul-General Roger Price and an animal expert.

Shedd officials say Granddad is the world's oldest-known living fish in an aquarium. His exact age is unknown because he was already fully grown when he arrived in Chicago.

He's 4 feet long and weighs 20 pounds.

"At 25 pounds and 4 feet long, he hangs out like a sunken log on the bottom of his habitat in Waters of the World with four other -- and considerably younger! -- lungfish," Shedd's website says.

"Scientists question whether lungfish are the missing link between fish and amphibians because they have primitive lungs in addition to gills. This adaptation has allowed lungfish to survive drought-like conditions for at least 400 million years."

Australian lungfish have one lung and can surface to breathe air.

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