8 Animals with the Shortest Lifespans, Ranked by Longevity


Ranging from 4 inches to a surprising 9 feet, these creatures play a crucial role in ecosystems by decomposing organic matter and tilling the soil. While they can live up to 8 years, garden varieties.

Green Anole:

These small lizards, measuring around 8 inches, are popular among beginners for their ease of care and affordability. However, males can become territorial, requiring consistent handling for socialization.

Guinea Pig (Tie):

Despite their name, guinea pigs are rodents native to the Andes of South America. While they have a lifespan of 4-6 years, they thrive in captivity and were initially domesticated as livestock.

Hedgehog (Tie): 

Hedgehogs, ranging from 6-8 inches, are insect-eating mammals known for their sociability in captivity. However, they may curl into a protective ball if threatened, and their nocturnal habits might not suit light sleepers.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird:

Measuring 3-3.5 inches, these tiny birds primarily feed on nectar and have nests the size of a large thimble. Females lay one to three eggs, with an incubation period of 12-14 days and a nesting period of 18-22 days.


Ranging from 4-7 inches, moles prefer grassy areas to dig tunnels for shelter. They consume a large quantity of earthworms daily and give birth to three to four pups per litter, which are weaned at 4-5 weeks old.

Panther Chameleon:

These diurnal chameleons, measuring 9-21 inches, prefer solitary living except during mating season. They reach sexual maturity at seven months and lay eggs in clutches of 10-40, hatching within 240 days.

North American Rat: 

With a size of 9-11 inches, plus a 7-9-inch tail, these rodents are sociable despite their bad reputation. While they can live up to three years in captivity, predators lower their average lifespan to one year in the wild.