10 Animals That Mate for Life

Did you know that some animals are so committed, they mate for life? Maybe we humans could learn a few things from them. Here are just 10 of the many creatures that are known to be monogamous.

1. Gray Wolf

Mated pairs of gray wolves almost always stay together their entire lives. They start breeding at age two and build their wolf pack by having a new litter every year. Most female wolves can have babies until they die, so that power couple may be in charge of a lot of wolves in their ever-growing pack.

2. Bald Eagle

bald-eagles

Photo Credit: thinkstock

These amazing birds don’t stay together all year; They fly solo for many months but they always return to their mates during breeding season. Bald eagles have usually found a partner by age five and they stay in that relationship for at least 20 years. The male eagle is a good dad, helping to keep the eggs warm and feed the babies once they are born.

3. Barn Owl

It’s not just bald eagles: some 90 percent of birds are monogamous, including barn owls. These cute birds have a not-so-cute way of conducting courtship. The male owl seeks to attract the female by screeching and presenting her with dead mice. If she is attracted to this male, the female responds by croaking.

4. Black Vulture

The vulture is another bird that stays faithful to one mate, but unlike bald eagles, black vultures hang out together all year round. Their courtship involves the male vulture first circling around the female with his neck extended, before diving toward her. Once there are eggs, the pair take turns keeping them warm in 24-hour shifts.

5. Macaroni Penguin

macaroni-penquins

Photo Credit: Anita Ritenour

Perhaps the cutest of all these monogamous birds is the macaroni penguin. Its home is in Antarctica and during the warmer summer months (beginning around October), macaroni penguins return to colonies of up to 100,000 individuals. And yet the majority return to their previous partner. They share parenting duties for the first 12 days of their children’s life, when the male leaves to look for food, returning to let the female do the hunting.

6. Sandhill Crane

sandhill-cranes

Photo Credit: thinkstock

These beautiful birds are also monogamous, staying together year round, often in close proximity, and raising one brood each year. Sandhill cranes are known for their elaborate courtship rituals, which include a kind of dancing, an upright wing stretch and a horizontal head pump. They also indulge in loud squawking as a pair to declare their mutual affection to the world.

7. Gibbon

This small, furry animal is mostly monogamous: In general, females and males form strong relationships that can last the gibbon’s entire lifetime, 35 to 40 years. They care for their young together, take care of each other and hang out together. Once in a while there are “breakups,” in which case the gibbon usually looks for a new partner.

8. Beaver

beavers

Photo Credit: thinkstock

There’s an important distinction to make here between the European beaver (also known as the Eurasian beaver) and the North American beaver (seen above). In the case of European beavers, once they find a mate, they stay with that partner, raising their young together, until one of them dies. North American beavers do have partners also, and raise their young together, but they are not always faithful to that partner.

9. Shingleback Skink

This reptile, a type of lizard found in Australia, is unlike most other reptiles since it comes back to the same partner every mating season. Courtship, which involves the male skink caressing and licking the female, can take several months, but once the pair have bonded, they may stay together for over 20 years.

10. French Angelfish

French-Angelfish
Photo Credit: thinkstock

These pretty fish are almost always seen in pairs, and they mate only with their partner. They reproduce via broadcast spawning: the female releases eggs and the male releases sperm simultaneously. Even though their name sounds delicate and pretty, they are fighters who aggressively defend their feeding territory from other fish.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

119 comments

Thomas M
Thomas M17 days ago

Thanks for posting

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R18 days ago

💕My adventure with Yellow started in the time of his grieving for stolen soulmate and son... every day for the next 18 months 💕... Thank you.

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Marija M
Marija M19 days ago

Interesting, tks very much for posting.

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Mia B
Mia B19 days ago

thank you

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Cathy B
Cathy B19 days ago

Interesting! Thank you.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R21 days ago

#11 the Northern American Cardinal

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Clare O
Clare O21 days ago

th

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 22 days ago

cool thanks Judy.

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Daniel N
Daniel N22 days ago

thank you for posting

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Jim Ven
Jim V22 days ago

Thanks.

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