Methuselah — a fish that likes to eat fresh figs and get belly rubs — is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.
In the Bible, Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather and was said to have lived to be 969 years old.
While Methuselah the fish is not quite that ancient, biologists at the California Academy of Sciences believe that it is about 90 years old, with no known living peers.
Methuselah is a 1.2m, 18.1kg Australian lungfish that was taken from Australia to the San Francisco museum in 1938.
A primitive species with lungs and gills, Australian lungfish are believed to be the evolutionary link between fish and amphibians.
No stranger to publicity, 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.”
Until a few years ago, the oldest Australian lungfish was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, but that fish, named Granddad, died in 2017 at the age of 95.
“By default, Methuselah is the oldest,” said Allan Jan, senior biologist at the museum and the fish’s caretaker.
Methuselah’s caretakers believe that the fish is female, although it is difficult to determine the species’ sex without a risky blood draw. The museum plans to send a tiny sample of her fin to researchers in Australia, who would try to confirm the sex and figure out the fish’s exact age.
Jan said that Methuselah likes getting rubbed on her back and belly, and has a “mellow” personality.
“I tell my volunteers, pretend she’s an underwater puppy, very mellow, gentle, but of course if she gets spooked, she will have sudden bouts of energy. But for the most part she’s just calm,” Jan 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,” museum spokeswoman Jeanette Peach said.
The museum has two other Australian lungfish that are younger, believed to be in their 40s, Jan said.
The Australian lungfish is a threatened species and can no longer be exported from Australian waters, so biologists at the museum say it is unlikely that they would get a replacement once Methuselah passes away.
“We just give her the best possible care we can provide, and hopefully she thrives,” Jan said.
BUYING TIME: Russia is estimated to have suffered over 100,000 casualties in its push to capture the strategically insignificant town, giving Ukraine time to ready its troops Whether Bakhmut has fallen or not, Moscow is being pulled deeper into an ever more costly fight for the frontline city as Kyiv readies a major offensive, experts said. Russia’s claim to have conquered the destroyed city, which Ukraine rejected on Sunday, does not mean significant new terrain from which to launch attacks nor harden defenses. However, Moscow has made the eastern city’s capture a key aim and has fought the war’s longest battle, as well as one of its deadliest, to try to win what it would like to bill as a significant success. US President Joe Biden, speaking from the G7
DEEPFAKE: Using AI to change their face and voice, a fraudster convinced a businessman that they were his friend and needed 4.3 million yuan for a public tender A scammer in China used artificial intelligence (AI) to pose as a businessman’s trusted friend and convince him to hand over millions of yuan, authorities have said. The victim, surnamed Guo, received a video call last month from a person who looked and sounded like a close friend. However, the caller was actually a con artist “using smart AI technology to change their face” and voice, said an article published on Monday by a media portal associated with the government in Fuzhou City. The scammer was “masquerading as [Guo’s] good friend and perpetrating fraud,” the article said. Guo was persuaded to transfer 4.3
A Malaysian comedian better known for mocking attempts by Western chefs at Asian cooking has had his Chinese social media account suspended after making jokes about China. Nigel Ng (黃瑾瑜), who uses the name Uncle Roger, is the latest comedian to feel the consequences of jokes that could be perceived as reflecting negatively on China under increasingly intense censorship and rising nationalism. Last week, a Chinese comedian came under police investigation for a joke about stray dogs. Ng on Thursday posted a video clip from an upcoming comedy special in which he pokes fun at Chinese surveillance and Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over
Gunmen in Ecuador opened fire in a restaurant in a beach town popular with tourists, killing at least six people and wounding six more, prosecutors said on Sunday. The attack happened on Saturday night in a busy nightlife area of the town of Montanita on the Pacific coast, the prosecutors’ office said on Twitter. It gave no information on the age or identity of the people who were shot. Located between Colombia and Peru, the world’s top producers of cocaine, Ecuador is weathering the biggest surge in crime in its recent history. Crime linked to drug trafficking caused the murder rate to almost double