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How Long Do Reptiles Live?

Reptiles show no physical signs of aging like mammals and live much longer than mammals of the same size. It has been shown that reptiles cells only show small signs of damage as they age compared to a dog or a cat. Reptiles have a very low metabolic rate and as such they do not metabolize oxygen at the same rate as an active mammal. Oxygen is actually toxic and you would die if you were made to breath in pure oxygen. Reptile cells are better at repairing themselves and your Bearded Dragon is more resistant to cancer than you or me. Reptiles continue to grow throughout their lives and sexual and successful breeding is often based on size rather than age alone, so living longer is beneficial to survival. Slowing down during winter also seems to increase the longevity of reptiles.

Snake Life Spans

  • Corn Snakes 10-15 years
  • King Snakes 10-15 years
  • Rat Snakes 10-15 years
  • Milk Snakes 10-15 years
  • Ball Pythons 25-30 years
  • Boa Constrictors 25-30 years
  • Burmese Pythons 25-30 years
  • Rosy Boa 30 years plus
  • Rubber Boa possible over 50 years
  • Garter Snakes 10-12 years

All the snakes above are capable of exceeding the stated life spans.

Lizard Life Spans

  • Chameleons 5 years average
  • Green Iguanas 20-25 years
  • Bearded Dragon 8-10 years
  • Bosc’s Monitors can exceed 10 years if cared for properly
  • Leopard gecko 20-30 years
  • Tokay Gecko 15-20 years
  • Crested Gecko 20 years
  • Water Dragons 10 years
  • Eyed Lizards 10-15 years
  • Uromastyx over 10 years

As husbandry knowledge increase species such as chameleons should be able to live much longer lives in captivity. Species such as Bosc’s Monitors and Green Iguanas do not live as long as they should due to improper care.