Animals Breathing rate / life span

Just for fun we’ve compiled a table of animals breathing rate / life span. Not a scientific evidence, but enough to see the connection! Mole and Shrew are “relatives”, as well as House mouse and Bat, but Mole and Bat live in lower oxygen/higher CO2 environment. Their lifespan is times greater than that of above-the-ground “relatives”.

Happy New Year from the Buteyko Clinic!
Breathe less – live healthier and longer!


Animal Breathing rate,  breaths/min Life span,  years
Giant Tortoise 4 150
Whale 6 111
Elephant 4-5 (lying down) 70
Horse 8-15 50
Chimpanzee 14 40
Monkeys 32 18-23
Dogs 20-30 10-20
Mole <Underground tunnels> 4
Shrew 140-170 1
House mouse 95-160 1.5-3
Bat <Caves> Up to 40

Buteyko Clinic USA offers unique breathing rehabilitation programs that result in long term drug free control over asthma, allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and other chronic conditions.
Visit our websites and

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Tags: , , , ,

21 Responses to “Animals Breathing rate / life span”

  1. zartabish says:

    maximum n minimum breathing rate in which animals ? plz reply soon

  2. Yoni says:

    Very interesting. Thanks. Please, add more animals, including variety of birds. Birds fly higher. They get more oxygen (and also human created gases.) Birds are opposite to Mole and Bats,

  3. admin says:

    The table reflects on mammals, the group humans belong to. Birds are not mammals, have quite different respiratory system

  4. G. Sheshgiri Rao says:

    Nice information given by you.

  5. Vinod Kumar says:

    Nice and interesting information to share. My question to you is if you are saying that life span is depends upon rate of breathing than why human being who have 12-24 breath/min(adult) rate of breathing have a higher life span compared to some animals from your list like horses or chimpanzees.

    My other question
    Is it possible to control your heartbeat at your will by controlling your breathing rate? If yes, how and what effect does it have on a living being.

  6. admin says:

    For one, we cannot really compare lifespan of animals and humans. Humans built civilization – we’ve changed environment we live in, we learned to fight/prevent diseases (yet developed new ones), we have technological advances to keep us from weather extremes, artificially extend life and such. It is impossible to say what our lifespan would be if we lived purely as animals. The research estimated though that prehistoric humans lived about 25-30 years.
    For second, as I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the article – nobody researched that subject scientifically (at least as far as I know), as many factors besides breathing can influence lifespan. However, it is a food for thoughts showing interesting connection we, breathing retraining Practitioners, clearly see from our experience. And, by the way, healthy human should breathe 6-12 breath per minute at rest (and the lower this number, the healthier you are), not 12-24 like modern references suggest.
    Yes, it is possible to influence your heart rate by certain breathing techniques and relaxation. That’s what we teach at breathing retraining courses. By the end of the short session of breathing exercises, if done properly, your heart rate would go down, on average 2-5 beats. It would be a temporary effect if done only occasionally, but if you follow breathing retraining program consistently, your heart rate will go down permanently, together with your breathing rate.

  7. Vinod Kumar says:

    Nice food for my thought. Thanks for this wonderful reply.
    Now my next question, Is it possible to slow down my heart rate at very extreme level lets say almost zero by using any of your courses or techniques? If yes, In how much time do an average person can achieve this.
    I know my questions seems to be crazy to you and I am sorry for that but trust me this is extreme important for me so please try to answer this.
    And thanks in advance.

  8. admin says:

    We are educational service with the goal of breathing normalization toward most healthy physiological parameters. Our program reverses hyperventilation and teaches good breathing mechanics and hygiene. With that, many symptoms and conditions are greatly helped or eliminated, energy is restored, athletic performance increases and many other benefits. We are not about testing human’s extreme abilities. I don’t know what you mean by “almost zero”, like stop your heart? As far as I know, lowest heart rate observed in humans is about 28-30 BPM. There is anecdotal evidence about certain Yogi who can slow down their heart rate to extremes or stop and restart it. Some divers are trained to endure such extremes during diving. Maybe you need to search for that information if that is what you are interested in.
    In Buteyko Practice, you can bring yourself to about 3 breaths per minute rate (I am talking about respiratory rate, not heart rate). Even that requires months of practice and dedication. How soon you achieve results is individual and depends on a number of factors. However, with this breathing rate it is still unknown/individual how low your heart rate will go. On average, probably 45-50 BPM.

  9. Vinod Kumar says:

    Nice information to share, thanks for that.

  10. Mayur says:

    it is a very good topic which i never knew the breathing rate of animals and also got knowledge that if we breath less we live longer

  11. Vimal Naik says:

    Interesting paragraphs from the website which has number of fans on facebook.

    “This breathing is called rhythmic because it follows a certain rhythm in nature. All planets, stars, suns i.e. the entire Brahmanda breathes this rhythm although at different speeds. Watch the sea at high tide on the shore where the waves break-and if you observe -every 12th wave is larger than the rest. When you practice this rhythmic breathing you will find that your 12th breath will be more forceful while breathing out. Now observe the sea far out and then see how the wave rides on the surface of water and you will mark a forward backward movement and in rhythm of 3SRB.

    When a child is born it breathes in the same rhythm of 3 SRB but at a faster rate for the first nine months at approximately 36 breaths a minute, the next nine months at approximately 18 breaths a minute and then the next nine months at about 12 breaths a minute.”

  12. mic says:

    I find this information quite interesting, as my respiratory cycle as a human being is approximately 7 or 8 at max during a resting awake period of time, and delves to a lower rate while I am sleeping. I recently noticed the difference approximately a week ago when I decided to quit smoking, and was studying the affects of quitting smoking. I also noticed for the longest time that my BP rate etc, is borderline 21 year old olympic athlete status. There is no criteria for my rates at my age. and also I appear to look quite young for my age, so all points seem to gauge toward a lower aging process, however, it is also possible that perhaps underlying there is something wrong with me. I am not one to work out often, though I do feel in good shape, and I also notice I have an above normal appetite, without weight gain. Something to think about for the readers, and any answers or people similar are welcome to reply to me :)

  13. Misha Sakharoff says:

    Very good site, thanks Eugenia. I feel that you definitely know what you are talking about! As Buteyko practitioner working mostly with athletes, I can say that years of breathing retraining brought my normal resting pulse from 55 down to 32. My pulse at max physical exertion came down from 185 to 155. It took some years of training, but it was absolutely worth it. High aerobic endurance with closed mouth, no flu, no colds anymore and you feel great! With time your breathing center (medulla oblongata) gets accustomed to the changed CO2 trigger levels. So reduced breathing slowly becomes a part of the lifestyle being trained almost automatically through the day. Heavily recommended :-)

  14. Pete Patel says:

    Very nice info.. Albeit life, environment, time cycle, knowledge, and everything is making difference.. ! As these numbers are little bit different than old numbers, perception..! But, still it proves old Hindu theory that life is number of breathes, not the years..! And, would think that supreme hierarchy, other factors wouldn’t make any dent to life, and living..! Thanks ..

  15. V.I.G.Menon says:

    I am a yoga enthusiast,also practicing pranayama. My personal observation on my own breathing frequency per minute is that it comes down as tranquility grows.
    My second observation,as a management consultant is that breathing frequency of students,and labourers are very high,whereas that of teachers and of senior management are relatively low .

    Thirdly ,I have noted that the mentally disturbed have a frenetic,very high ,breathing frequency per minute.

    Time we did a detailed statistical analysis of the distribution and variance of breath cycles in a society and its correlation to their ‘apparent’ social “status”.And it could definitely lead to advice groups on “breath control” for life’s success.

  16. Harish Bhinde says:

    Based on my personal experience in the field of Yoga I can say that breath and mental calmness are inter-linked. By regular practice of Pranayama it is possible to bring down normal breathing rate. During meditation when the mind is comparatively focussed and relaxed, the breathing rate further goes down. My own breathing rate which was more than 20 breaths/minute when I started practicing Yoga some 30 years back dropped down to average of about 7 breaths/minute in about a year of regular practice. It further drops to around 3 breaths/minute during meditation.

  17. dr, Mahin, a says:

    Thanks it is very usefull to undrestand more about the secret of breath,

  18. keerthi yadav says:

    thank you for your infomation

  19. […] Animals that breathe slowly may live longer. The giant tortoise takes 4 breaths per minute and racks up a whooping 150 birthdays. […]

  20. […] lived longer life spans with a controlled, long breath. You will also notice, though, that as the speed of respiration increases, the life span of the animal […]

  21. rangaswamy chakravarthy says:

    dear website
    i want to know the breath/min of pigeon, parrot,sanke, ,rabbit
    thanks.i wanted this info for a long time .comparison of longevity versus brething pattern.

Leave a Reply