Dog Size and Lifespan

When compared to the lifespan of other mammals, “smaller size, longer life” would at first glance appear to be counter-intuitive, especially to families that have gone through short-lived pet rats (2 years), hamsters (3 years), or gerbils (4 years).

In the non-pet category, chimpanzees live shorter lives than humans — about 45 years vs. 70 years — and elephants have a lifespan comparable to humans. This is nothing, of course, compared to the bowhead whale. Weighing in at up to 65 tons and sixty feet long, current estimates place its maximum lifespan at 200 years.

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