Which mammal lives the longest?

We compare the lifespans of some of our fellow mammals.

The elephant lives longer than a gorilla but not as long as a human © iStock

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.

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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!

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These facts originally appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s The Big Book of Mammals.