Bristol

Bristol University's resident 'lungfish lecturer' dies

Dr Leonard P. Annectens Image copyright Ian Wilson
Image caption Leonard P. Annectens was given the honorary title of doctor and published some 'high-impact' papers

A fish that became an honorary university academic boasting his own Twitter and Facebook accounts has died.

Dr Leonard P. Annectens was bought at a local pet shop and given to Bristol University's earth science department for research purposes, in 2004.

The faculty said he had mentored students and published some "high impact" papers.

PhD student Frances Boreham, said he was a "grumpy member of staff" but "we're all pretty sad about his death".

The much-loved lungfish was given the honorary title of Dr Leonard after proving a hit with students.

His illustrious career saw the 60cm (23in) long "living fossil" named on a number of published papers, make several successful World Cup predictions, and even become engaged to Acanthostega Gunnari - an extinct fish at Cambridge University.

His own Twitter profile described him as "passionate about prawns and science."

Sadly last week Ms Boreham found the West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) "nose down and tail up" in his tank.

Image copyright Frances Boreham
Image caption As a memorial to Leonard, his body is being scanned and a 3D print created of his skeleton which will be held in the department

"He was a pretty old lung fish - upwards of 30 or 40 - and he didn't make it," she said.

"And he died intestate but in line with what we think were his wishes, his body has been donated to science."

As a memorial to Leonard, his body is being scanned and a 3D print created of his skeleton which will be held in the department.

'Shocking news'

Dr Leonard announced his own passing on Facebook thus: "With a final flick of my tail, I bid you all a fond farewell."

Students and professors have taken to social media to express their grief.

Prof Mike Benton, tweeted that the death of "our distinguished colleague" had been the "most shocking news".

While, Catherine Draper said the department "will never be the same" and Genette Ellis said simply: "Oh no! I thought he was immortal".

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