The World's Oldest Eel

The World's Oldest Eel

Included in Collections: Nature

Object Description

This eel was caught in Tain River in about 1891. It was kept in a tank at at 1 Queen Street , Tain, and was 57 years old when this picture was taken in 1948. It lived to be over 60 years old and outlived its capturer. The photo of the eel was taken by C W Ross (see Picture #290) who we think caught the eel when a boy.

Cat No. 1255
Collections Nature
Date added March 12th, 2008
Added by Tain & District Museum
1 Visitor Comments
  • image description

    Alistair Ross

    The eel was caught as an elver about two inches in length and probably two years old by 14 year old Ernest Ross, brother of C W Ross, in 1895 along with minnows and other river denizens. They were housed in a small tub of water located in the garden, and in a few weeks they all died. All, except the eel which was taken indoors and became an accepted part of the household. The eel was said to be 56 when it died in 1949 - not quite as old as the caption above suggests . But - the world's oldest eel? I am afraid not. The International Council for the the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) report that the oldest eel in captivity was 85 years (probably in Nova Scotia, 1863 - 1948), and Dr D Jellyman (a specialist in eel longevity) has recorded a female longfin eel of 106 in Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand .

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