The Emperor's Pike, 17th century

The Emperor's Pike, 17th century

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Emperor's Pike. 17th-century oil painting by an unknown artist of the pike which is reputed to have lived in a pool in Lautern, Germany, for 267 years. The text refers to the legend that in 1230 the Emperor Frederick the Second placed a pike (Esox lucius) into a lake at the castle of Lautern, marked with an engraved copper ring. Although pike have a lifespan of around 50 years, the story goes that the same pike (over 5 metres long and weighing 250 kilograms) was recovered from the lake in 1497, some 267 years later. This painting is part of the collections held at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

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