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Fluffy the Lungfish Fan Club

We Love Fluffy

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Will you be my friend?

L-newfytron's hand, R-Fluffy. Early 2004

Fluffy the Lungfish (Protopterus annectens, family Lepidosirenidae) was born in sub-Saharan Africa. In March 2002, when she was about the same size and shape as a hotdog, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts. My friend (and later, housemate) found her in a pet shop and fell in love with her puppylike behavior (if we are talking about puppies who move very slowly, live underwater, and eat snails) and her funny nose.

My friend left the shop, did a lot of research about the care and development of lungfish (this is very important to do before you get any kind of pet), and then went back to the pet shop and brought Fluffy home. Fluffy made a lot of friends here in Boston after that. She is a very active fish, and shows almost as much interest in those of us outside her tank as we do in her. It is hard not to like an animal who seems to smile at you -- even when that smile looks a bit like Elvis Presley's sneer (if we are talking about an Elvis who lives underwater and eats snails).

Over time, friends grow and change; and sadly (for us), so did Fluffy. She grew very fast, and became very strong, probably because of the excellent care and all of the tasty snails she was given. In three years, she had grown to 30 inches long, almost four times her size when he first brought her home. If she kept growing at the same rate, she would soon become too big for her 180-gallon tank. But more importantly, if Fluffy needed any special care, it would soon be too difficult to handle her safely, because she was so powerful!

So, my friend did some more research, and found her a wonderful new home, one where she would have plenty of room and snails to eat, where should could teach kids and grown-ups about lungfish, and where she could teach actual fish-scientists (ichthyologists) and fish-doctors (specialized veterinarians) about lungfish, too.

That new home is the Shedd Aquarium, where Fluffy moved in May 2005. Why don't you go and visit her, and then come back here and tell us how she's doing? In the meantime, we'll post some stories about when Fluffy was growing up in Boston.

Please post only your news, stories, and questions about Fluffy and about lungfish in general. If you have pictures of Fluffy or of other lungfish you know, those would be great to see, too!

-- PR
air-breathing fish, aquariums, big fish, breathing air, chicago, coelacanths, crayfish, crunchy snails, edible housemates, exotic fish, exotic pets, leg-like fins, lepidosirenidae, live sushi to eat, living fossils, lobe-finned fishes, looking at you, lungfish, mud, racial memory, sarcopterygii, shedd aquarium, sleeping with eyes open, snails, swimming around, tasty crayfish, the wet season, twice-chewed food, worms