A group of researchers from North Dakota State University confirmed that a particular species of fish, the Ictiobus cyprinellus, originating in North America, can live even more than 100 years, an estimate that quadruples all previous estimates concerning the age of this fish. One of the specimens analyzed by the researchers had an estimated age of 112 years.
Also known as bigmouth buffalo, this freshwater fish becomes one of the longest-lived fish in existence. With its brown olive color and dark fins, it can reach a length of more than 120 cm and a weight of 70 pounds. It can be found in various rivers in the United States and Canada, but it can also live in lakes and other shallow waterways. The research group has published its work on Communications Biology.
To determine the age of the fish analyzed, the researchers also used carbon dating of otoloites (calcium concretions embedded in a sort of inner ear of the fish).
According to Alec R. Lackmann, a researcher who conducted the study, we must begin to recognize the bigmouth buffalo as a native and ecological heritage: it is an exceptional fish that deserves some protection like many other native fish species of North America.
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