Relationships can be difficult. No matter how long you’ve been with someone, there will always be tough times ahead. However, some people have found a way to make monogamy work. And like these humans, there are certain animal species that prefer to have only one partner thoughout their entire lives as well. According to the National Science Foundation, about 5% of mammals are monogamous. And mammals aren’t the only ones. There are monogamous birds and reptiles as well. So if you believe in love, scroll through the following pictures and check out the animals that have found a way to make their love last.
Although beavers are known to mate for life, they will seek out a new partner should their current partner die. They share responsibility in raising their offspring and both parents will help build the shelter. If living communally with other beavers, couples and family-units will build and live in their own private room. They share a strong bond that is made stronger through mutual grooming.
2. Bald Eagle
These impressive raptors will build strong relationships with their partners that last a lifetime. Some other bird species that are so-called monagomous will mate with other birds, but not eagles. Their bond is too string to break. They often return to their same nesting spot year after year to raise to new offspring together.
3. Black Vulture
These unique birds practice monogomay and are believed to mate for life. They interact with their family members more closely than they do with other black vultures and nest in dark secluded places. I think it’s safe to say that these birds stand by their own through thick and thin–something that we should all be striving for.
These cute little deer-like animals live in pairs, not herds. Once their own offspring is old enough, the parents kick them out of the group to go live on their own. Fathers will run off the sons and mothers will do the same to the daughters. This is not unlike the human parents out there who have had to kick out their basement-dwelling adult children.
5. Sandhill Crane
These long-necked birds mate for life. Their pair-bond will last until one of the cranes die. At that point, the surviving crane will search for a new partner. These birds migrate to their breeding grounds in early spring where single cranes will pair up and begin their long-term relationship.
Zebras reach sexual maturity at around 1 to 2 years of age. However, it’s not until they are about 6 that they gain the ability to guard a partner as their own. Once mated, Zebras with take part in a courtship and mating ritual that lasts about 2 days and they mate nearly every hour.
Once these birds complete their courtship rituals, they are paired for life. Many other birds will raise offspring together one season and then move on to another partner the next, but not swans. However, if issues arise while raising their young, these birds have been known to seek out other swan partners. I know some humans who have done the same thing.
These beautiful birds are known to mate for life. They enjoy grooming each other and sharing their food. The mothers will incubate eggs during the breeding season while the fathers bring food back to the nest. Unfotunately, many of these colorful macaw species are endangered.
9. Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs live in tightly-knit communities called coteries. Within these coteries, there tends to be one or two males who do all of the breeding and the rest of the prairie dogs in the community are female or young pups. The males are known to jump from coterie to coterie, but the females stick together for life–their lady-bond runs deep.
Toucans will live with their partners for life. They share a hole in a tree as a nest and have been known to run other birds out of their nests in order to take them over. These cool-looking birds keep their relationship strong by sharing food–often by tossing it or shooting it into their partner’s mouth.
Albatrosses are known to be the most committed birds in the animal kingdom. Their divorce rates are nearly zero and they have been known to raise chicks well into their 60s. Should one of the partners die they will seek out another partner. But if they can help it, they’ll only mate with one bird for their entire lives.
For the duration of mating season, penguins will only mate with one partner. They work as a team to incubate the eggs and go in search of food. In many cases, penguins will seek out the same partner to mate with year after year. However, some penguins will find a new partner come next mating season.
13. French Angelfish
These exotic fish will mate for life. They have been known to defend their territory together against other angelfish pairs. In humans, they say that couples who play together will form a stronger bond than those who don’t. But how about couples who fight together? That’s got to be next-level companionship.
Gibbons are known as lesser apes because they aren’t as big as their great ape cousins but they aren’t considered monkeys either. Their relationships are very similar to many human relationships. The couple will pair for life and raise their offspring together. The family will stay together until the offspring are old enough to move out and go live on their own.
Although flys don’t necessarily mate for life, their life-spans are so short that, in some cases, they could mate with only one partner. Male flies will court their desired female before mating. The female fly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. Once those eggs hatch into maggots, the maggots turn into pupa for just 4 days before they become a sexualy mature fly that is ready to reporoduce.
16. Cuddle Cats
Cats will mate with many other cats given to opportunity. So no, they aren’t monogamous. But, house cats that live together will form a strong bond that they will nuture for their entire life. This relationship is less about reproduction and more about companionship.
Toads mate once a year, usually during March and April. Sometimes, that mating season can last until July. The males will often show up to the breeding location long before the females. But once the females do show up, there will be plenty of reproduciton and toad-cuddles taking place.
Only the male and female alphas of the pack will mate with each other. Wolves will start breeding at only 2 to 3 years of age and will often have just one litter of pups a year. Once they become a couple, wolves tend to mate for life.
Ducks are known to take part in seasonal monogamy. This means that they will mate with the same partner for the entire season, but once next mating season comes around, they will seek out a new partner. Almost half of all waterfowl take part in seasonal monogamy rather than form life-bonds.
Seahorses are unique in many ways. Their equestrian shape is very rare amoung the fish world, and they are also one of the few fish that mate for life. Even more rare is the fact that the males will actually carry to unborn offspring instead of the females. They are amoung the only species on earth that do this.
Geese are known to mate for life. They have very low divorce rates and are known to be somewhat selective in their partner-picking. Larger geese tend to mate with larger geese, while the smaller geese stick with the smaller geese. In a bonded pair, the male goose is usually a bit larger than the female goose.
Wild, domestic, and feral pigeons are all thought to mate for life. However, this isn’t a strick rule. Non-pair breeding is known to take place and it is usually initiated by the male pigeons. There’s no surprise there.
Skinks live in small family groups that can reach up to 17 lizards. These groups tend to stay together for at least 5 years. A mating pair of skinks with mate with only each other, year after year.
24. Oldfield Mouse
The oldfield mouse is one of the few mice species that are monogomaous. The mating pair will dig a burrow toegther when they have pups on the way. Once born, the father will stay with the pups and keep them safe by retiving them when they fall out of the nest, cleaning them, and keeping them warm.
Surprisingly, termites are known to be monogamous. They will stay together for a very long time–sometimes up to 20 years. Young termites can take many years to mature and while the kids are growing up, both termite parents will share parenting roles.
26. Turtle Dove
Doves are often considered a symbol of love in many cultures throughout the world. This is because they are monogamous. Also, the father dove will take on just as much responsibility in caring for the eggs and the newly-born chicks as the mother does. He will continue to help raise the chicks until they are old enough to fly away.
27. Prairie Vole
When prairie voles mate, certain chemicals are realeased in their brains that cause them to want to stay toegther for life. This is beneficial for their offspring who now have two parents looking out for them instead of one. Prairie voles are known to be much more exclusive than their prairie dog cousins.
28. California Condor
This magnificant bird is monogamous. The pair will only lay one egg every 1 to 2 years and are known to live until they are 80. Because of their slow reproduciton rate, these birds are in danger of becoming extinct. Although they can live such long lives, the oldest living condor that is alive today is only 40-years-old.
29. Black-necked Swan
These swans are monagomous and will mate for life. They tend to mate during specific times of the year–July to September. When a pair arrives to their mating grounds they will court each other before mating. These courting rituals include trembling their wings and bobbing their heads.
30. Macaroni Penguin
Macaroni Penguins mate for life. Every year during the months of October and November, these penguins will return to their breeding grounds and mate with their life-long partners. The males will often show up to the bredding grounds before the females. This doesn’t surprise me.