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A life span, life expectancy, or life cycle was the maximum or average length of time a lifeform, material, or object was projected or capable of living or lasting. Having an effectively unlimited lifespan was referred to as immortality.

The lifespan of humanoid species was known to vary from less than a decade to as long as several millennia. Some non-corporeal species were known to have lifespans exceeding several millennia.

Generally speaking, a life cycle was marked by the process of aging, beginning at birth and ending with death – either prematurely or naturally. It might be divided into states, such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.

Comparative life spans

The Capellan flower, native of Capella IV, had a life span of only a few hours. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")

The swarming moths of Gonal IV had a life span of only twenty hours. Jay Gordon Graas analyzed the insects' life span as part of his primary school science fair project in 2368. (TNG: "Disaster")

The Lyssarian Desert Larvae, after becoming a mimetic simbiot, exactly replicated the life cycle of the species it was mimicking at a rapidly accelerated rate. On average, the simbiot was born, grew old, and died in approximately fifteen days. (ENT: "Similitude")

The Ocampa had a lifespan of only nine years. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Death Wish", "Before and After", "Fury") Suspiria developed technology that helped extend the Ocampa life span; Tanis' father, for example, lived to be twenty years of age. (VOY: "Cold Fire")

Following an autopsy of a Xindi-Insectoid, Doctor Phlox projected that this species of Xindi only had the lifespan of about twelve Earth years. He then suggested that the Insectoid he conducted his autopsy on was about ten years of age, and was likely one of the elder members of its crew. (ENT: "Hatchery")

Most Jem'Hadar died young in battle; as such, it was rare for them to live past fifteen years of age. Few ever lived to the age of twenty, and those who do were awarded the title "Honored Elders." As of the Dominion War, No Jem'Hadar had ever lived to the age of 30. (DS9: "To the Death")

Trill could live at least one hundred years. (DS9: "Rejoined")

This is based on the statement that Curzon Dax was late to his 100th birthday party.

During the 24th century, Bajorans could live to at least one hundred years. Els Renora was one such individual to live to the century mark. (DS9: "Dax")

Ferengi might live over a century. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")

This is based on Ishka claiming that after her ears raised, her lobes were firmer than they had been in over a century. The statement might be taken to imply that they could live at least another hundred years after the end of their prime. Legends of the Ferengi by Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe stated Ferengi could live up to three hundred years.

Antarans of the 22nd century were thought to generally live at least sixty years. (ENT: "The Breach")

This is a lower limit, as Hudak, the Antaran featured, was said to be able to live for another sixty years by Phlox. It should be noted that Phlox' knowledge on Antaran biology might be sketchy, a fact he himself acknowledged. Hudak appeared to be what in Humans would be called middle aged; the actor playing him was 49 at the time of filming.

One Drayan was ninety six years old when she reached the natural end of her life. (VOY: "Innocence")

The average Human life span had gradually increased during their history. The average life spans during the 22nd century was about one hundred years. (ENT: "Observer Effect") This average age was still roughly the same during the 2250, but had risen to 120 by the mid-24th century. (citation needededit) However, at some point in history the average lifespan for Humans was only 35, and by 1999 it had become higher than a millennium earlier. (ENT: "Similitude"; VOY: "11:59") Leonard McCoy had by 2364 reached the age of 137. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

This made McCoy the oldest confirmed Human seen in Star Trek, with the exception of Flint and users of suspended animation-like technology
Dialogue in "The Lorelei Signal" implied that Kirk and McCoy (then about thirty-six and forty-two years old respectively) could only expect to live for another forty or perhaps fifty years. This was in a scenario in which they would not be able to access the medical technology of the Federation.

Despite the normal limit on Human age, at least one Human, Flint, lived for six thousand years for unknown reasons which were somehow dependent on the Earth's environment. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah") Another exception were Human Augments, who had life spans twice as long as those of regular 22nd century Humans. (ENT: "Borderland")

Klingons were capable of living well over a century in age. Individuals such as Kang, Koloth, Kor, and Arne Darvin lived well over one hundred years. (DS9: "Blood Oath", "Trials and Tribble-ations", "Once More Unto the Breach")

No exact lifespan has been given for Klingons, just approximates. In 2370, Odo observed that Kor "must be a hundred years old" and his "best friend," Koloth, was "probably a hundred and fifty years old." This observation was made over one hundred years after their encounter with James Kirk, when they were already accomplished adults. On the other hand, in "The Time Trap", Kor complained that if his ship were immobilized for a century, by the end his entire crew would be dead. Of course, this was decades before all the actors playing the aforementioned Klingons would reprise their roles in DS9.

Vulcans were known to have life spans of two hundred years, which was considered to be exceptionally long by Federation standards. (ENT: "Broken Bow"; TNG: "Unification I") Sarek of Vulcan lived to be 203 years of age. (TNG: "Sarek") However, at some point in their history, the average lifespan of Vulcans was only 40. (ENT: "Similitude"). Trip Tucker scoffed at the idea of Mestral, a Vulcan who lived on Earth beginning in the 20th century, remained there for the rest of his life, which could have been longer than 150 years. Tucker was especially averse to the idea that a Vulcan could live the rest of his lifespan on Earth, unnoticed, from the 1950s through a period of time that included the terms of 30 United States Presidents. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

Krenim could live at least two hundred years. (VOY: "Year of Hell")

This is based on Annorax captaining the Krenim weapon ship for so long. However, since he didn't visually age during that time, Krenim lifespans might be significantly longer.
The Krenim ship was out of time phase with the universe and thus the implication might be they lived so long only because they were not subject to the passage of time while on the ship.

At least one Kriosian, Briam, reached two hundred years, which was considered old. (TNG: "The Perfect Mate")

The Valtese, being closely related, might have had similar life expectancies.

The Talosians had life spans that were many times that of a Human's. (TOS: "The Cage")

Trill symbionts were capable of living at least over 550 years. Trill hosts however tended to live significantly shorter than the symbiont, resulting in a symbiont usually occupying many different hosts during its lifetime.

The Dax symbiont lived over 357 years in ten hosts. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited"). In addition, in an alternate timeline where Jadzia Dax crashed on Gaia, it survived another two hundred years.

Changelings had an expected life span of at least several centuries. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Search, Part II"

This can be deduced from the fact that Odo was sent out at the latest in the mid-24rd century, and wasn't expected to return until the 27th century.

The Axanar had an average life span of 400 years. (ENT: "Fight or Flight") Tarquin's species also lived for at least four hundred years. Tarquin remarked that few species have lifespans as long as his. (ENT: "Exile")

El-Aurians life spans were at least several hundred years. (TNG: "Q Who") Guinan was also on Earth during the late 19th century, making her at least 490 years old. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II"). Her father had reached 700 years by 2369. (TNG: "Rascals") The El-Aurian Doctor Tolian Soran was reported to be "over three hundred years old" in his biographical information.(Star Trek Generations)

The Redjac entity had an extremely long lifespan, at least 379 years. It was speculated by Spock to be virtually immortal. (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

While the lifespan of regular Horta is unknown, the Mother Horta lived for 50,000 years. TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")

Cheron natives were also known to be extremely long lived. Bele claimed to have pursued Lokai for more than 50,000 years (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

Bevvox, a bioplasmic organism who lived alone for a few millennia, was said to be somewhat sensitive about his age. (VOY: "Think Tank")

Another type of bioplasmic organism, the Telepathic pitcher plant, was estimated to be at least 200,000 years old. (VOY: "Bliss")

A Magnetic organism was found to have survived on a derelict ship for 300,000,000 years. (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star")

Borg life spans were the natural life span of whatever species the drone was originally assimilated from, except when the individual was assimilated as a child, in which case maturation was accelerated. (VOY: "Survival Instinct", "Collective")

Conversely, in "Hope and Fear" Arturis seemed to believe that those assimilated would spend the rest of eternity as Borg. Perhaps this is related to how in "Imperfection", it was stated that when a drone was deactivated, its memories continued to reside in the Collective's consciousness.

Denobulan life spans were never specified, Phlox once told Archer that they live "a long time". Additionally Phlox had to treat an patient whose species Denobulans had fought many times in the past, the Antarans (ENT: "The Breach"). Phlox stated that his grandmother had lived through the last war, which was earlier stated as having occurred three hundred years previously.

Additionally, a deleted scene from ENT: "" established the Rigelian parrot as a bird known for its very long lifespan. Phlox was nonetheless surprised when it was still alive 117 years after he left it.
While Star Trek: Insurrection saw a group of Son'a a bit more then a century old, which were employing extensive life extension techniques yet who seemed to be at the limit of how far technology could bring them. Therefore, the natural life spans of Son'a and Ba'ku were presumably not much longer than a century at most.

Reduction of lifespan

Several natural and unnatural conditions have been encountered that are known to hasten the aging process. For example, radiation has been known to accelerate aging, dramatically, later known as a hyperaccelerated aging disease. (TOS: "The Deadly Years"; VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy") In 2365, a freak Thelusian flu antibody reaction caused a similarly rapid aging. (TNG: "Unnatural Selection")

Delta radiation, emitted by mirror universe warp five engines, was also very harmful. It was said that, for each year a Human spent working next to a warp core, he lost a decade of his life. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

For slow and fatal diseases, a revised life expectancy was also usually given. As part of a (possibly false) diagnosis of Tuvan Syndrome, Koval was expected to live another 20 or 25 years. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges") After Quark was diagnosed with Dorek Syndrome, he was told that he had only about six days to live. (DS9: "Body Parts") More humorously, Julian Bashir claimed that, due to the extreme old age associated with winning, the life expectancy for a Carrington Award winner was five to ten years. (DS9: "Prophet Motive")

More elementary, lifestyle conditions could also drastically reduce life expectancy. The life expectancy for prisoners sent to Rura Penthe was six months to a year. (ENT: "Judgment")

Extension of lifespan

For methods of Rejuvenation (as opposed to just prolonging life), see Rejuvenation.

Likewise, several methods have also been found to slow the aging process, such as the life prolongation project, albeit with negative side effects. (TOS: "Miri").

In a deleted scene from "Similitude", Sim noted that both Humans and Vulcans had throughout their history successfully spent a lot of effort to heighten the average lifespans of their species.

According to Jadzia Dax, regularly eating steamed Azna would add years to your life. (DS9: "A Man Alone")

On the Dinaali homeworld some people were given Cytoglobin injections to prevent arterial aging and thus increase life expectancy by 40%. (VOY: "Critical Care")

Doctor Elias Giger claimed that his cellular regeneration and entertainment chamber could effectively grant immortality, but this claim was considered dubious by the Federation scientific establishment. (DS9: "In the Cards").

The Son'a also applied intriguing methods of enhancing their life spans. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

The Kobliad, a dying race due to cellular degeneration, were able to nonetheless prolong their lifespan using deuridium to stabilize their cell structure. A Kobliad named Rao Vantika went further and tried to prolong his death by experimenting with rejuvenation drugs, cryogenics, and organ transplants. (DS9: "The Passenger")

Bathar of Hodos, a salesman traveling the Delta Quadrant in the 24th century, claimed to have a formula that stopped the aging process. In reality it was only a tripolymer enzyme though. (VOY: "Memorial")

Apart from actual changes in the pace of aging, The use of technologies like cryonics, stasis chambers and even transporters have allowed individuals to temporary suspend their lives and therefore live into eras their normal lifespans would not have normally allowed them to live. (TOS: "Space Seed"; TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "The Emissary", "Relics"; VOY: "The 37's")

There also existed spatial anomalies, such as the Nexus, which trapped people within alternate temporal realities thereby continuing their lifespan beyond normal measure and under special circumstance could allow them to occupy a later time-space than their genetics would normally allow. (Star Trek Generations)

Suspiria helped the Ocampa develop a technology to extend their lifespan. Tanis and his father lived to 14 and 20 respectively. (VOY: "Cold Fire")

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