When this “old” fish was born, World War II was not over, Franklin D. Roosevelt was still the President of the United States, and Elvis Presley was just a kid who couldn’t sing a word.
A snapper caught off the coast of Western Australia stuns scientists. With a life expectancy of 81 years, this fish “fish” is called “the oldest fish living in tropical coral reefs in the world”.
The fish was found in the Shoals Rowley area, about 300 miles west of the town of Broome, in 2016, but was not publicly announced until recently.
This fish usurped the throne of a large red bass captured at Rowley Shoals in 1997 at the age of 79.
Biology Dr Brett Taylor of the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, who led the study, has so far said that the oldest fish scientists found in shallow tropical waters are only around 60 years old. . This discovery changed the earlier human understanding of the longevity of tropical fish.
Scientists focused on four sites along the coast of Western Australia and the protected Chagos Islands in the central Indian Ocean to study three species of fish that are not caught: Lutjanus bohar, Macolor macularis and Macolor Niger.
During the study, using the bones of the ears to accurately determine the age of the fish, biologists identified 11 fish over the age of 60, of which this instrument was the largest.
“It survived the Great Depression and World War II. It’s hard to believe a fish lived on the reef for 80 years,” said Dr Taylor.
According to Dr Taylor, this study will help marine biologists determine how climate change will affect the growth and aging of fish.
The team of scientists are also studying fish at different latitudes, with changing water temperatures, to better understand how fish may react when temperatures are warmer everywhere.