Which mammal lives the longest?

Guess how long a gorilla lives? Answer: 35 years. And what about tigers, tapirs, bats and bears? Our top 10 reveals the surprising lifespans of some of our fellow mammals.

A
a
-
Namib elephant
The elephant lives longer than a gorilla but not as long as a human.

 

1-2 YEARS: WEASEL

Weasels make up for their short life by having up to 13 kits in a litter and up to three litters a year.

3 YEARS: HEDGEHOG

Hedgehogs have tough lives: half die in their first year, and few live longer than three years.

12 YEARS: WOLVERINE

The largest members of the weasel family, wolverines stay with their mother until the age of two, when they can start to breed.

14 YEARS: TIGER

Young tigers suffer a high mortality rate, with 50 per cent dying before the age of one.

25 YEARS: BROWN BEAR

Apart from humans, brown bears have few enemies – in Russia’s Far East, the Siberian tiger is a rare threat.

30 YEARS: LOWLAND TAPIR

Tapirs are large, robust mammals. They may look like a meal for big cats such as jaguars, but they are rarely taken.

35 YEARS: WESTERN GORILLA

Gorillas mature slowly and breed late – females give birth for the first time at the age of about 10, and have one baby every four years.

41 YEARS: BRANDT'S BAT

Brandt’s bats live extraordinarily long lives considering their size. 

56 YEARS: ELEPHANT

Elephants are unusual among mammals other than humans in having a ‘use’ after they stop breeding – older females help to look after young calves. 

80 YEARS: HUMANS

We are the longest-lived land mammal, although there are a number of marine species that outlive us – bowhead whales can live for 200 years!

 

Discover more amazing wildlife facts in The Big Book of Mammals

ORDER your copy of The Big Book of Mammals.

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here