A fish that has lived longer than most of our grandparents is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world at the age of 90 years old.
Methuselah, named after the biblical patriarch that lived to be 969, is an Australian lungfish that was brought to the San Francisco museum in 1938 from its native habitat in Australia.
The 4-foot, 40-pound fish is thought to be an evolutionary link between fish and amphibians due to the species having both lungs and gills.
“By default, Methuselah is the oldest,” Allan Jan, senior biologist at the California Academy of Sciences and the fish’s keeper, told the Associated Press.
In 2017, another Australian lungfish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago named Granddad died at the age of 95, making room for Methuselah to take the title, according to the Associated Press.
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Methuselah’s caretakers have not officially determined its gender due to a risky blood draw, but believe the fish is a female. The California Academy of Sciences plans to send a tiny sample of her fin to Australian researchers in an attempt to verify the age and sex, the Associated Press reported.
In the meantime, her keeper says she is a “mellow and gentle” creature that enjoys a wide variety of foods in her diet including seasonal figs as long as they aren’t frozen.
She also snacks on organic blueberries, grapes, fish, clams, prawns and earthworms, according to Charles Delbeek, a curator at the museum’s Steinhart Aquarium.
Australian lungfish are a threatened species and can no longer be transported from their native habitat in Australia. There are two other lungfish at the academy named “Medium” and “Small” who are both younger than Methuselah.
However, they won’t be able to replace the fish that likes to be “rubbed on her belly” and has a chill personality.
“We just give her the best possible care we can provide, and hopefully she thrives,” Jan said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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