Real vs. Ideal Life Spans

In nature, few creatures live long enough to reach old age.  The "ideal" life spans here are based on longevity records of animals raised in captivity or of extraordinary long-lived animals in nature.  The "real" life spans are estimations of the average or expected lifetimes of animals in the wild, based on field research. Read Live Long and Prosper for more on lifespans, and discover the ages of the longest lived plants and animals.


Animal  Ideal  Real 
American toad 10 years 1 year
Barn owl 34 years 21 months
Bison 40 years 15-20 years
Black bear 30 years 10 years
Blue jay 26 years 7 years
Bluegill 8-11 years 4-6 years
Bullfrog 16 years 8 years
Eastern chipmunk 3 years 1 year
Eastern cottontail rabbit 9 years 1-3 years
Garter snake 20 years 2 years
Gray wolf 15 years 5-6 years
Grizzly/brown bear 50 years 20-25 years
House mouse 5 years 1 1/2 years
Little brown bat 31 years 6-7 years
Moose 22 years 8-12 years
Mourning dove 31 years 1 1/2 years
Muskrat 10 years 3 years
North American river otter 21 years 8-9 years
Northern raccoon 21 years 5 years
Porcupine 18 years 6 years
Red fox 12 years 3 years
Robin 14 years 2 years
Sharp-shinned hawk 20 years 3 years
Striped skunk 15 years 1 year
Tufted titmouse 13 years 2 years
Western screech owl 19 years 1-8 years
White-tailed deer 20 years 2 years
Wild turkey 13 years 1 1/2 years
Woodland vole 2 3/4 years 3 months

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