Average Lifespan


Written by Sarah Psaradelis

Updated: May 27, 2024

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Average lifespan is the typical length of time an animal or human lives.

Summary of Average Lifespan

This describes what lifespan is common for a particular animal or human. It is the “average” or “expected” age for the animal to reach during its lifetime before passing due to age-related complications. For an animal or human to be considered old, you must first understand its average lifespan.

Each animal and human have a certain life expectancy, an expected age for the species to live. The average lifespan will vary from days to months, to years, as an expectancy of how long the particular animal or person will be alive. It applies to age-related deaths and not mortality from disease, accidents, or diet.

This can be affected by environmental factors that prohibit animals or humans from reaching the average age for their species. These factors, such as a healthy diet and exercise, can improve an animal’s or human’s life expectancy.

Regarding animals, this is important to consider before people keep pets. The average lifespan of an animal may or may not include common diseases that the species are predisposed to, which can cause an earlier death, thus, a shorter average lifespan for the creature.

Average Lifespan of Common Animals

Animals With The Shortest Lifespan

Mayflies have the shortest lifespan of any animal.

  • A dog’s average lifespan is between 10-12 years of age, but their breed and care can affect their lifespan. Some dogs can exceed this by several years.
  • A hamster lives between 18 months to 2.5 years. This can be influenced by genetics, care, and health.
  • Mayflies have the shortest lives — only living for 24 hours (1 day) at maximum.
  • A tortoise lives between 50-100 years, making them one of the longest-living terrestrial animals.


Ah-ver-age life-span

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About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

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