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8 Animals That Mate For Life

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8 Animals That Mate For Life

By Bryan Nelson, Mother Nature Network

Humans in many cultures like to think of themselves as a faithful species, but when it comes to true fidelity, many other animals offer better examples of how to keep a relationship together. Although monogamy and lifelong pair bonds are generally rare in the animal kingdom, here’s our list of 11 animals that pull it off.

Gibbons
Gibbons are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life. They form extremely strong pair bonds and exhibit low sexual dimorphism, which means that males and females of the species are of roughly equal size, a testament to the fact that both sexes are on relatively equal footing in their relationships.

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Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

407 comments

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7:03AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Thanks.

6:33PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Interesting. Us humans could learn a thing or two from these faithful creatures!

10:46PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

noted

5:29AM PDT on May 30, 2012

too bad people are not so evolved

7:12PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Biologists have long understood that monogamy is rare in mammals. Of about 4,000 mammalian species, only a handful have ever been called monogamous. The tiny list includes beavers and a couple of other rodents, otters, bats, certain foxes, a few hoofed mammals, and some primates -- notably gibbons and the tamarins and marmosets of the tropical New World.

The idea of mating for life is antiquated and based on fairy tale religious and overly conservative human centered values.

3:55PM PST on Feb 17, 2012

Maybe humans will be able to learn more about wolves and other animals, if man doesn't continue to kill them off. We need to treat our animals (yes, even those in the wild) much better.

4:12AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

no, not really. some wolves aren't as monogomas as you think. sometimes they go away and get a new mate. they radio collared and studied one male and saw he had a few mates from differnt packs. he is stuffed in in a museum or education center or something.

8:33AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

All creatures,great and small :-)

8:51PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Interesting, its sad to think that so many animals can mate for life, and people can't...

8:51PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Interesting, its sad to think that so many animals can mate for life, and people can't...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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