10 Longest Living Rodent Species (Photos)

If you’re seeking a lifelong companion, little pets are fantastic possibilities because some of them have remarkably lengthy lives! We look at some of the longest living rodent species in this article, since among them are rats and other rodents.

Table of Contents

Longest Living Rodent Species in the World

  • Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber)
  • Botta’s Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae)
  • Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
  • Brandt’s Vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii)
  • Cape Porcupine (Hystrix Africa Australia)
  • Olomouc Mouse (Mus musculus domesticus)
  • Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus)
  • Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus)
  • Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara)
  • Chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)

1. Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber)

Naked Mole-rat, Hairless Rat, Heterocephalus Glaber, Isolated On White  Stock Image - Image of puppy, behaviour: 263005345 | Naked mole rat, Puppy  images, Mole rat
Naked Mole-rat, Hairless Rat, Heterocephalus Glaber, Isolated On White Stock Image – Image of puppy, behavior 263005345

The fascinating Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a rodent species that stands out for its extraordinary lifespan and unique biological traits. The lifespan of naked mole rats is explained in detail below:

  • Lifespan
  • Biological Features
  • Habitat and Behavior
  • Physiological Adaptations
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Research Significance

1. Lifespan

Individual naked mole rats can live for well over 30 years in captivity, making them some of the longest-living rodents. They are of great scientific interest because of their noticeably longer lifetime when compared to other rats of comparable size.

2. Biological Features

  • Resistance to Cancer
  • Eusocial Structure
Resistance to Cancer

The cancer resistance of naked mole rats is one of its most amazing features. Compared to other animals, they have a far lower incidence of cancer, which may account for their longer longevity.

Eusocial Structure

Bare-NakeMolesle Like some insects like ants and bees, rats live in eusocial colonies. The queen laborers and soldiers make up the colony’s hierarchical structure, and each has a distinct function within the society.

3. Habitat and Behavior

  • Subterranean Lifestyle
  • Social Structure
Subterranean Lifestyle

Naked mole rats are native to East Africa and live in dry areas underground in tunnel systems. Their underground way of life shields them from predators and contributes to the preservation of a steady environment.

Social Structure

With only a few individuals reproducing in each colony and a single breeding queen, the colonies display an intricate social structure. Most of the colony’s members are soldiers and non-reproductive laborers.

4. Physiological Adaptations

  • Low Metabolic Rate
  • Unusual Thermoregulation
Low Metabolic Rate

Because of their lowered metabolic rate, naked mole rats are thought to live longer. In many species, longer lifespans are linked to lower metabolic rates.

Unusual Thermoregulation

It is well known that these rodents can withstand a broad variety of temperatures. They can survive in environments that many other mammals would find difficult.

5. Reproductive Biology

  • Limited Reproduction
  • Queen’s Fertility
Limited Reproduction

Only the queen and a few males engage in reproduction inside a colony. It is believed that this particular reproductive method adds to the species’ overall longevity.

Queen’s Fertility

The queen bears children for a considerable amount of time since she is fertile for the whole of her life.

6. Research Significance

  • Biomedical Research
  • Aging Studies
Biomedical Research

Extensive scientific research is conducted on naked mole rats to comprehend the chemical and genetic pathways that underlie their lifespan and resistance to cancer.

Aging Studies

Research on naked mole rats has shed light on cellular senescence, DNA repair mechanisms, and aging processes.

2. Botta’s Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae)


The genus Thomomys and family Geomyidae include Botta’s Pocket Gopher. Their distribution extends from central Mexico to southern British Columbia in North America.

Small to medium-sized rodents, measuring 5 to 7 inches in length, are Botta’s Pocket Gophers. Their fur comes in a variety of colors, such as brown, grey, or cinnamon, to fit their underground existence.

Being fossorial, Botta’s Pocket Gophers live underground in complex tunnel networks that they build for the majority of their lives. They dig with their powerful teeth and claws to obtain food, which is mostly plant roots, tubers, and other subterranean components.

The native habitat of Botta’s Pocket Gophers is subject to various factors that affect their typical lifetime, including predation, environmental conditions, and food availability. Usually, it lasts between one and three years.

Botta’s Pocket Gophers have a maximum lifespan of five years when kept in a controlled habitat, given the right care, and shielded from outside hazards. This longer longevity is frequently seen in captive breeding programs and laboratory environments.

Threats to Botta’s Pocket Gophers include owls, snakes, and carnivorous animals. They may lose their burrowing grounds as a result of human activities like urbanization and agriculture.

Botta’s Pocket Gophers are important for soil aeration and nutrient cycling because they burrow, which affects the makeup and structure of their habitats.

Ecological and evolutionary studies on Botta’s Pocket Gophers shed light on their adaptations for subterranean life and their effects on ecosystems.

3. Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

The eastern gray squirrel Free Stock Video Footage, Royalty-Free 4K & HD  Video Clip

The lifespan of Sciurus carolinensis, often known as the eastern grey squirrel, is subject to variation based on a range of factors such as the availability of resources, the risk of predation, and environmental conditions. This is a thorough description of how long Eastern Grey Squirrels live:

  • Wild Lifespan
  • Captive Lifespan
  • Reproductive Age
  • Health and Disease

1. Wild Lifespan

Eastern Grey Squirrels typically live between six and twelve years in the wild. Several things can affect their survival rate, including food availability and appropriate nesting places, as well as predators such as domestic pets, raptors, and birds of prey.

2. Captive Lifespan

Eastern Grey Squirrels kept in captivity may have longer lifespans than those found in the wild. They can sometimes live more than 20 years if given the right care. Healthy food, defense against predators, and veterinary attention all play a part in their prolonged life in captivity.

3. Reproductive Age

The sexual maturity of Eastern Grey Squirrels usually occurs between 10 and 12 months of age. Under ideal circumstances, females can produce many litters annually over the several-year reproductive phase.

4. Health and Disease

The longevity of a squirrel is highly influenced by its general state of health. Injuries, illnesses, and parasites can shorten their lives. Eastern Grey Squirrels live longer and are generally healthier when they receive regular veterinary examinations and timely medical attention for health problems.

4. Brandt’s Vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii)

Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii). © Mrs. Erdenetuya B, 2018 | Download  Scientific Diagram
Brandt’s vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii). © Mrs. Erdenetuya B, 2018

Native to Asia, Brandt’s voles have adapted successfully to a variety of habitats, including steppes and grasslands.

  • Species Overview
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Habitat and Behavior
  • Lifespan
  • Conservation Status

1. Species Overview

A species of rodent in the Cricetidae family is the Brandt’s vole. Asia is home to these voles, which may be found in China, Mongolia, and Russia.

2. Physical Characteristics

As a small rodent, Brandt’s voles measure between 9 and 13 centimeters in length overall and between 2.5 and 5 centimeters in length at the tail. Their coat of silky, dense fur varies in color, frequently exhibiting hints of grey or brown.

3. Habitat and Behavior

A variety of habitats, such as grasslands, steppes, and agricultural areas, are suitable for Brandt’s voles. These are rodents that burrow, building intricate tunnel networks for security and cover.

4. Lifespan

For a rodent of their size, Brandt’s voles exhibit remarkable longevity in captivity, with a maximum lifespan of 5 years. Numerous elements, such as genetics, environment, and resource availability, can affect how long these voles live.

5. Conservation Status

In some areas, the conservation status of the Brandt’s vole is in jeopardy because of habitat loss, agricultural practices, and possible concerns about climate change. It is essential to research these voles’ lifetime and ecological function to comprehend their position within ecosystems and to put conservation measures in place.

5. Cape Porcupine (Hystrix Africa Australia)

ADW: Hystrix africaeaustralis: INFORMATION
ADW: Hystrix Africa Australia: INFORMATION

The rodent species known as the Cape Porcupine (Hystrix Africa Australia) is indigenous to several parts of Africa, such as Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. This is a comprehensive account of how long they live:

  • Lifespan Range
  • Adaptations
  • Conservation Status
  • Human Interaction

1. Lifespan Range

In captivity, the average lifespan of cape porcupines is between 12 and 15 years. However, a variety of environmental variables, predators, and diseases may shorten their longevity in the wild.

2. Adaptations

These rodents’ diverse adaptations help them survive and possibly live long lives. Their bodies covered with quills provide them with an effective defense against predators. Their prodigious digging skills also enable them to build vast burrow networks that offer cover and security.

3. Conservation Status

Although issues like habitat degradation may affect isolated populations of cape porcupines, the species is not currently classified as vulnerable. Conservation efforts that work to preserve animals’ natural habitats and lessen human-wildlife conflict can help ensure the long-term survival of animal populations.

4. Human Interaction

Cape Porcupines may also be at risk from human interactions such as car crashes and poaching. Awareness of conservation issues and initiatives to lessen human influence on their environments are essential.

6. Olomouc Mouse (Mus musculus domesticus)

Mus musculus (house mouse) | CABI Compendium
Mus musculus (house mouse) | CABI Compendium

A variant of the ordinary house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) called the Olomouc Mouse was developed expressly to live a long time in experimental environments. The Olomouc mouse has undergone genetic selection to enhance longevity, whereas the average lifetime of wild mice is just one to three years.

  • Longevity Selection
  • Research Significance
  • Genetic Factors
  • Laboratory Environment
  • Comparison to Wild Mice

1. Longevity Selection

The purpose of selective breeding was to increase the lifetime of the Olomouc mouse strain beyond that of ordinary laboratory mice. The goal of the research has been to identify and breed mice that possess genetic characteristics linked to enhanced resistance to aging-related causes.

2. Research Significance

In scientific investigations aimed at comprehending the genetic foundation of aging, longevity, and age-related illnesses, mice are especially useful. Through a comparison between ordinary laboratory mice and the Olomouc mouse strain, researchers can determine the genetic variables that lead to prolonged lifespan.

3. Genetic Factors

The longer lifespan of the Olomouc Mouse strain is probably due to several genetic changes and variances. These genetic variables may affect cellular function, resilience to stress, and general health in different ways.

4. Laboratory Environment

Olomouc mice are genetically determined, yet their controlled laboratory environment has an impact on how long they live. They live longer and are generally healthier because of things like food, housing, and medical treatment.

5. Comparison to Wild Mice

House mice have a shorter lifespan in the wild due to a variety of obstacles, such as predators, unfavorable weather, and scarce supplies. In contrast, Olomouc mice do not experience the environmental stresses that wild mice do, making it possible for scientists to investigate the impact of genetic alterations on aging.

7. Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus)

HD wallpaper: Golden Hamster Mesocricetus Auratus, white and brown hamster  | Wallpaper Flare
HD wallpaper: Golden Hamster Mesocricetus Auratus, white and brown hamster, HD wallpaper

Many factors affect the longevity of the Mesocricetus auratus (Golden Hamster), including diet, environment, genetics, and general care. This is a thorough description of how long Golden Hamsters live:

  • Wild vs. Captivity
  • Average Lifespan
  • Social Nature
  • Nocturnal Behavior

1. Wild vs. Captivity

Golden hamsters in the wild don’t live as long because of things like predators, unfavorable weather, and scarce access to reliable food supplies. When given the right care, captive golden hamsters often have longer and healthier lives than their wild counterparts.

2. Average Lifespan

In captivity, Golden Hamsters usually live between two and three years on average. The longevity of individual hamsters might vary depending on environmental and genetic variables.

3. Social Nature

Since golden hamsters prefer to live alone, housing them together can make them agitated or hostile. Providing a solitary setting can improve the general well-being of individuals, particularly men.

4. Nocturnal Behavior

Because they are nocturnal animals, golden hamsters are more active at night. Encouraging them to spend their waking hours in a calm, darkly lit space supports their natural behavior.

8. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus)

Close Up Photo of Guinea Pig · Free Stock Photo

The typical lifespan of guinea pigs, which are common as pets, is five to seven years, which is longer than that of many other small rodents. These social rodents need a well-balanced diet and do best in groups or couples.

  • Common Health Issues
  • Lifespan Variability
  • Aging Process
  • Lifespan in the Wild vs. Captivity

1. Common Health Issues

Guinea Pigs are prone to some health conditions, such as obesity, dental troubles, and respiratory infections. A longer and better life can be achieved by addressing these problems with regular health monitoring and by receiving the necessary medical care.

2. Lifespan Variability

Individuals and breeds of Guinea Pigs can have varying lifespans. While certain breeds may live slightly longer than others, heredity and individual care are major factors.

3. Aging Process

All living things experience aging, including guinea pigs. Their overall mobility, oral health, and activity levels may all vary as people become older. Senior care can improve a person’s quality of life in their later years by making dietary and environmental modifications.

4. Lifespan in the Wild vs. Captivity

Since they have been tamed for ages, guinea pigs typically have longer lives in captivity than they do in the wild. Their longevity can be greatly impacted by the numerous predators and environmental difficulties they encounter in the wild.

9. Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara)

Rufous-bellied Niltava - eBird
Rufous-bellied Niltava – eBird

Southeast Asia is home to the Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara), a species of bird. These birds belong to the avian category, even though they are not rodents. I will give you a detailed description of how long they live.

  • Taxonomy and Distribution
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Habitat and Behavior
  • Lifespan

1. Taxonomy and Distribution

The Rufous-bellied Niltava is a member of the Muscicapidae family, which also contains chats and flycatchers. They are found throughout Southeast Asia, including portions of China as well as nations including Vietnam, Laos, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Myanmar.

2. Physical Characteristics

Male and female birds are sexually dimorphic, with different plumages. While females are usually more modest in color, males usually have vivid blue and black upperparts that contrast with a rufous-orange abdomen.

3. Habitat and Behavior

Rufous-bellied Niltavas enjoy regions with dense foliage and are frequently seen in tropical or subtropical highland forests. They frequently catch insects on the wing thanks to their swift and acrobatic flying.

4. Lifespan

The availability of food, environmental factors, and predation can all affect the Rufous-bellied Niltava’s longevity. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a wild bird’s exact lifespan, in captivity, where they’re not kept very often, its longevity might reach nine years.

10. Chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)

A Person Petting a Long-Tailed Chinchilla · Free Stock Photo

When raised as pets in captivity, chinchillas typically live for ten years or longer. Some well-maintained people may live for fifteen years or longer. Due to a variety of environmental factors, wild chinchillas in their natural home of the Andes Mountains in South America normally live only 8 to 10 years in the wild.

Behavioral Considerations

Chinchillas have a sociable nature, therefore housing them in pairs or small groups usually works well for them. Their general well-being is positively impacted by mental and social stimulation.

Habits of the Night: Chinchillas are crepuscular, meaning that the dawn and dusk hours are when they are most active. Their emotional and physical well-being is enhanced when their natural behavior is acknowledged and respected.


Gaining knowledge of the longevity of a rat species, breed, or rodent pet can help you better understand their behavior, ecology, and methods of adaptability.

It emphasizes the value of conservation efforts, ethical animal care, and establishing conducive environments for animals’ well-being in both naturally occurring ecosystems and environments that have been altered by humans.


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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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