Public aquaria have been exhibiting live aquatic animals for quite some time. Amazingly, a number of institutions across the world are around centenarian age. Perhaps even more astounding is how long some of the specimens in their collections have been kept. Many creatures, in fact, that earned the distinction of being the “longest living example in captivity” are kept in public facilities. The longest living captive fish, for example, is an Australian lungfish in the care of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
A male by the name of Granddad has been housed at the aquarium since 1933 (just in time for the World’s Fair and not very long after the aquarium’s grand opening in May of 1930). He is now regarded as an “ambassador” of the Shedd Aquarium as well as a part of the history of Chicago itself. To be sure, Granddad has had (and in time outlived) numerous caretakers. His status as the oldest living fish in captivity was made more widely known due to the fanfare over his 80th birthday party in 2013; the affair included the presentation of a special “aquatic birthday cake” comprised of Granddad’s most relished delicacies such as krill, clam, lettuce and grapes.
Granddad is approximately 25 pounds in weight and about four feet long. Members of his species are known to reach 90 pounds, five feet and 100 years in age. Aquarists are unsure of Granddad’s age at the time of acquisition.