How Long Do Lizards Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12 To 20 Years

Taking a rough estimation of the lifespan of lizards, it is known to be about a minimum of 12 years to a maximum of 20 years. However, many factors determine the lifespan of lizards. The major factor that plays a vital role in determining how long a lizard’s life is the type of lizard.

How Long Do Lizards Live?

African fat-tailed Gecko lizards are one of the most common lizards to be taken in as pets. The main reason behind that is mainly in part to their friendly nature and easy-care level. These lizards have a lifespan of about 12 to 20 years. 

Bearded dragon lizards are another common household lizard because they have an easy-care level and require a small aquarium, a 30-50-watt spotlight, and some rocks and branches only. These lizards have a lifespan of around 8 to 12 years. 

Moreover, Blue-tongued Skink lizards are tiny critters that are easy to care for, require about a 20-gallon aquarium, a bowl of water, and an assortment of fruits and insects to munch only. These lizards have a lifespan ranging from about 12 years to 20 years. 

Another type of lizard is the Crested Gecko. They are slow-moving lizards like the blue-tongued skink, and the crested gecko loves to climb. These lizards have a lifespan ranging from a minimum of 12 years to a maximum of 20 years. 

Green iguana lizards are one of the most popular reptile pets. They need enough room to move around in, an overhead light to provide heat, and an assortment of vegetables and fruits. They also have a similar lifespan of about 12 to 20 years only. 

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Lastly, Northern Alligator Lizards are adept at climbing and swinging on nearby branches. These lizards enjoy munching on small insects and prefer to stay close to the ground. They have a minimum lifespan among all the types of lizards that are about 5 to 8 years.

Here is a quick summary of how long a lizard lives depending upon the type of lizard:

Type Of LizardLifespan (In Captivity)
African fat-tailed gecko 12 to 20 years
Bearded dragon8 to 12 years
Blue-tongued skink12 to 20 years
Green iguana12 to 20 years
Northern alligator5 to 8 years

Why Do Lizards Live That Long?

The major reason lizards live that long is because the life cycle takes about a minimum of 12 years to a maximum of 20 years to get completed.

However, with advancements in veterinary medicine and veterinary science, scientists found suitable conditions for lizards to survive for a longer duration of time. Moreover, with developed and improved knowledge about appropriate lizard care, good feeding habits, and all other survival situations, the average lifespan of the lizards can be increased from 2 years to about 3 years.

Lizards are generally not more vulnerable to survival problems like predators and food shortages. When taken proper care, provided safe and suitable shelter, a healthy diet, and an attentive owner, they can easily live up to 3 years.

Moreover, because lizards are a part of the food chain at a shallow level. That means, the animals which thrive upon other animals as food for their living, generally make lizards their prey. So, as a result, lizards fail to live long.

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Unlike the wild lizards, the lizards who live under captivation can live for as long as a span of 20 years. This is so because these lizards have no stress to survive, they don’t have to struggle for food or fight predators. Such lizards are provided food and a good environment, they are far away from predators and thus, they have a long lifespan of 12 to 20 years.

Conclusion

Talking about pet lizards, one can live up to 2 to 3 years if healthy, provided needed care, and other essential needs like food and shelter are provided. Although, it is important to make sure that these pet lizards have equal health risks as compared to other domestic pets. If not taken care of or provided the needed diagnosis for their health problems, there is a big probability that these pet lizards will succumb to death due to several prominent illnesses.

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References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=LcCS_sec7qgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=lizards&ots=FD3SHMaruY&sig=BQUaE15RTl4k0x7qZuIWMJCxl48
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7591/9781501717994/html