How long can fish live?

Live fast, die young…OR live four centuries??!! The latest from The Fisheries Blog with artwork by Hannah Dean!

The Fisheries Blog

By Abigail Lynch

img_20160428_0002 Artwork by The Fisheries Blog Artist, Hannah Dean.

Fish are the most diverse group of vertebrates on earth – almost 28,000 species — more than half of all living vertebrate species.  So, perhaps, it isn’t surprising that fish have the record for both the shortest and longest vertebrate lifespan.  While a pet Goldfish (Carassius auratus) has a typical lifespan of 6-7 years, they have been reported to live as long as 30 years (Lorenzoni et al. 2007).  Still your average aquarium fish cannot compare to these short-lived and long-lived species!

Shortest-lived

The record for shortest recorded vertebrate lifespan goes to the Coral Reef Pygmy Goby (Eviota sigillata).  This little Indo-West Pacific reef fish, less than an inch long, has a lifetime which isn’t much longer.  It spends three weeks as larvae, quickly metamorphoses within one to two weeks, and settles…

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