Most animals have a life span far less than that of humans. Right now the average life span for a human is between 75 to 80 years of age. How do animals compare?
Average Life Spans
The average life spans listed below are from the most years expected to live to the least years expected to live. Of course, the life expectancy of an animal has many factors, including its environment, its food supply, and whether or not it is captive.
Galapagos tortoise – 200+ years
Box turtle, carp – 100 years
Gray whale – 70 years
Alligator, chimpanzee, African parrot, humpback whale – 50 years
African elephant – 35 years
Dolphin, gorilla – 30 years
Horse, snake – 20 years
Black bear – 18 years
Tiger – 16 years
Lion, lobster, domestic cat, cow, tarantula, – 15 years
Domestic dog – 13 years
Camel, moose, sheep – 12 years
Ferret, giraffe, pig, squirrel – 10 years
Chicken, white-tailed deer, goat – 8 years
Kangaroo – 7 years
Chipmunk – 6 years
Beaver, domestic rabbit – 5 years
Guinea pig, hamster – 4 years
Mouse – 3 years
Opossum – 1 year
Worker bee – 5 weeks
Adult housefly – 4 weeks
Figures come from various reliable and accurate sources.
Extreme Life Spans
These animals have far exceeded their life expectancy. This does not happen often, so they are worth mentioning.
Parrot – 80 years
Elephant – 69 years
Alligator – 68 years
Catfish – 60 years
Eagle, eel, giant salamander – 55 years
Horse – 50 years
Cobra – 28 years
Queen ant – 15 years
Figures come from various zoos and aquariums from around the world.
In the mammal species, it would appear that larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones. Take for instance this scenario. Man lives longer than many mammals. Next comes, elephants, monkeys, horses, and down the line to the tiny house mouse that lives the shortest period of time. Notice how the bigger mammals live longer than the smaller ones?
But, there are definitely exceptions to this rule. For example, in a same species scenario, larger dogs do not live as long as smaller dogs. Mutts (or mixed breeds) tend to live longer than pure bred dogs, and it does not really matter what size you are talking about.
Myth: One human year equals seven years for a dog.
Fact: To calculate a dog’s age, use this formula:
10.5 dog years per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human year for each year after.
Project suggestion: Research life expectancy comparisons like the one shown above for mammals on all the different species of the world, including anthropods, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.