Exotic reptiles offer animal lovers a reprieve from having to deal with the constant loss of one’s pets. While your average pet dog or cat will only live a few years or a decade at most, several types of reptiles can easily live upwards of three, four, or five decades. If you are looking for a family pet that will grow up alongside your children well into their adulthood, or an animal that you can spend the majority of your life with, check out these four exotic pets with long lifespans.
4 Pet Reptiles With Long Lifespans
There is an impressive number of reptiles that can easily outlive a human. Our life expectancy averages around 80 years, but there are tortoises, turtles, and Crocodilia (a classification that includes alligators, caimans, and—you guessed it—crocodiles) that can live over a century. However, many of these species are protected and not legal to own or sell. The reptiles listed here are all ones that are legal to own and also boast a significant lifespan.
Tortoises (Any Kind)
No matter which pet tortoise species you pick, these animals are guaranteed to have the longest lifespan of any other reptile. Averaging between 50 to 100 years and beyond, there is a very real possibility that your tortoise might outlive you. Sulcata and leopard tortoises can easily live to be up to 80 years old. Red foot tortoise life spans are shorter, but still not-too-shabby 40 or so years.
The cute little turtle many Americans keep in their home might actually be as old as you! These brightly colored turtles can live to be up to 40 years old. How are turtles and tortoises able to live so long? They age differently than the way mammals and birds do. Their slower metabolism means that they grow much more slowly but can also better survive harsh living conditions.
Red Tail Boa Constrictor
Also known as the common boa, this snake species is popular amongst intermediate snake owners. Native to South America, they can live 20 years in the wild and 30 years or more in captivity. Unlike Chelonians (turtles and tortoises) there are no clear trends on which snakes live longer than others.
The ball python has a lifespan that’s just as impressive as its popularity. In the wild, they generally only live about a decade but in captivity, they can live significantly longer, up to 45 years. Currently, the oldest living snake is a 62-year-old ball python held at the St. Louis Zoo.
Pets, no matter the species, make our lives better. In addition to the benefits of companionship, they can boost our immune systems, lower stress, and ultimately help us to live longer, happier lives. It should be of no surprise that nearly 70% of all Americans own at least one pet. But aside from the many positives, bonding with an animal can also bring substantial heartache when they eventually pass.
If you’re looking for reptiles for sale with long lifespans, tortoises and turtles are your best bet. There are a few species of snakes that have decent lifespans, but most lizards’ have fairly short lives. Take this into consideration when buying your next pet.