It outlived the dinosaurs, but it couldn't survive humans.
What the Chinese paddlefish lacked in looks it made up for in resilience. It survived five mass extinction events including the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Swimming in the waters of the Yangtze River, it remained in the murky depths as plants first evolved flowers and earth was a very different place.
However the giant fish which had remained viable for 200 million years hasn't been spotted since 2003. In a paper published by Science of the Total Environment the fish has been declared officially extinct.
The extinction of the giant freshwater fish was called "a reprehensible and an irreparable loss" by Qiwei Wei who lead the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences study. Though it was a long, slow decline the final eradication it was determined to no longer be able to sustain a population, and declared as the first animal to go extinct in 2020.
Its rareness earned the fish the name the "Yangtze panda", while it was nowhere near as cuddly it was certainly as unique.
The repulsive and compelling appearance has led the fish to be depicted on banknotes, stamps and ancient Chinese artwork.
The long sword-like snout could detect electrical current in murky waters to find prey.
Growing up to seven metres in length it was a primordial giant that was led into extinction mainly by overfishing and dam construction. It was humans and the dawn of the Anthropocene which killed off the giant river fish.
"This is the first of these very large freshwater fish to go and many are at risk—the concern is that more will go extinct, but the hope is that we can reverse their decline before it's too late," said the National Geographic's Zeb Hogan, who specialises in the fish.
Other such species around the world that are at risk of extinction include the American paddlefish of the Mississippi, the Mekong giant catfish and giant freshwater stingray.
While they may not be the most endearing of animals they should serve as markers for healthy waterways.
Like a slimy, 300kg canary in the coalmine the extinction of such species should serve as an alarm bell for the state of the world's waterways.