Which mammal lives the longest?

We take a look at some of the world's longest living animals to see how we compare.

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

1-2 YEARS: WEASEL LIFESPAN

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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Least weasel (Mustela nivalis)
The least weasel doesn’t live as long as most larger animals. © Zahoor Salmi/Getty

3 YEARS: HEDGEHOG LIFESPAN

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

Close-up of a Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) on green grass in Scottish countryside
A happy hedgehog in Scotland. © Nature Picture Library/Getty

12 YEARS: WOLVERINE LIFESPAN

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

Wolverine aka glutton with a relatively short lifespan
Wolverine aka glutton with a relatively short lifespan. © Manfred Delpho/Getty

14 YEARS: TIGER LIFESPAN

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

The Siberian tiger is walking carefully. His body is seen from the front side. His mouth is partially open. He turns his head slightly towards to the right side.
Siberian tiger aka Amur tiger. © Ibrahim Suha Derbent/Getty

25 YEARS: BROWN BEAR LIFESPAN

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

European Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos) in the Carparthian Mountains, Romania
A European brown bear in the Carparthian Mountains, Romania. © Joanne Hedger/Getty

30 YEARS: LOWLAND TAPIR LIFESPAN

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

Photograph of a lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) in green Atlantic Rainforest field, Guapiacu Ecological Reserve, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil
Lowland tapirs can live for up to 30 years. © Vitor Marigo/Aurora Photos/Getty

35 YEARS: WESTERN GORILLA LIFESPAN

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.

Baby mountain gorilla in north west Rwanda
This baby gorilla has a lifespan of around 35 years. © David Yarrow/Getty

41 YEARS: BRANDT’S BAT LIFESPAN

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

Hibernating Brandt's bats (Myotis brandtii)
Hibernating Brandt’s bats. © Yves Adams/Getty

56 YEARS: ELEPHANT LIFESPAN

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

Baby African elephant with its mother
Female elephants will still look after calves when they’re past breeding age. © abadonian/Getty

80 YEARS: HUMANS LIFESPAN

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.

Adult bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) surfacing in Arctic Harbour, Isabella Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, North America
The bowhead whale lives in the Arctic and has a lifespan of 200 years or more. © Michael Nolan/robertharding/Getty
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These facts originally appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s The Big Book of Mammals.