ANIMAL LIFESPANS


The following information is derived from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1961:

Humans by Era Average Lifespan
(in years)
Human, Neanderthal20
Human, Neolithic20
Human, Classical Greece28
Human, Classical Rome28
Human, Medieval England33*
Human, end of 18th Century37
Human, early 20th Century50
Human, circa 194065
Human, current77-79 (varies by region)

* Take a good look at all these human lifespans. For fantasy roleplayers, specifically look at the medieval lifespan: an astounding, whopping 33 years. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, the likelihood of anyone living long enough to get gray hair was very small. People living to the point where they begin to get wrinkles and gray hair were often considered in some way blessed or cursed, and given status that we in the 21st century wouldn't give even our own elderly parents. Secondly, unless there is some reason to expect advanced medical procedures in a fantasy campaign, players will seldom become and seldom encounter old men and women - the concept of what "old age" means is very different. Disease, famine, war and other factors all contributed to thirtysomethings dying off at an alarming rate. That age was almost always 100% fatal. Individuals with a higher standard of living lived longer, but usually not by much.

The following information is compiled from a number of sources. Additional lifespans may be found at Dr. Bob's All Creature Site.

Animal (General)Maximum Lifespan *
(in years)
Mammals
Bull28
Camel50
Cat25
Cow22
Deer35
Dog, large10
Dog, small17
Donkey45
Elephant70
Fox14
Goat15
Hare10
Horse40
Lion35
Mouse4
Ox20
Pig, wild25
Rabbit9
Sheep15
Tiger22
Wolf18
Birds
Amazon Parrot80
Blackbird18
Chicken15
Pigeon26
Macaw50
Reptiles
American Box Turtle123
Crocodile45
Galapagos Land Tortoise193
Rattlesnake22
Insects
Ant, queen3
Ant, worker0.5
Bee, queen5
Bee, worker1

* This is not the absolute maximum lifespan. However, there is an upper age limit at which the vast majority of animals will die. Animals living past that age are exceptions, and aside from being old and wise are also incredibly snappy dressers.