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10 Monogamous Animals That Mate for Life

As data from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) shows, around 5% of all mammal species and 90% of bird species are monogamous. These animals mate for life with their partners, and while they can’t put a ring on it, they understand what commitment truly is.

As humans, we could learn a lot of lessons from these animal species that choose a partner with whom they spend their whole lives, through thick and thin. This is what real love should look like, after all.

While animal relationships are very different compared to human interactions, these 10 animal species are known to be monogamous. They create an indestructible bond with their partners and they do everything in their power to protect their families.

Read on to find the 10 animal species that mate for life!

Photo by Tetyana Dotsenko from Shutterstock

1. Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni Penguins, also known as Royal Penguins are known for having a monogamous mating system. As I’ve previously mentioned, 90 percent of bird species create indestructible bonds with their partners with whom they mate for life, but none of them can show affection as a Macaroni penguin does.

These adorable creatures form lifelong pairs and dance when they see their partner. The dance is called “an ecstatic display,” they puff their chests and move their heads side to side while making a gurgling-like sound.

The female usually lays two eggs, one smaller and typically not incubated, while the second and larger one is incubated by both parents for 34 days. After the baby is born, the father takes good care of the chick while the mother is searching for food.

2. Bald Eagle

While long-distance relationships seem almost impossible for us, humans, bald eagles are very good at it. They are solitary birds that fly alone during winter and migration, but they always return to the same partner each mating season. Also, the male helps the mother take care of their children after they’re born. How cute is that?

According to the National Audubon Society, the Bald eagle uses nest-building to consolidate their bond with their partner.

3. Wolves

Wolves are monogamous animal species popular for being very loyal to their partner. It’s the kind of relationship “’til death do us part” because they would do everything to protect their family.

Wolves start reproducing after the age of two and they eventually build their own pack, where new members are added every year. While they can look very scary, it’s amazing how important it is for them to have a partner and their own family. Lone wolves are either mourning a dead partner or they were possibly excluded from a pack.

An alpha male and his female are basically a power couple that represents love, loyalty, respect, and strength. They carry the responsibility of taking care of the whole pack so every other member depends on them.

According to the wildlife sanctuary Animal Ark, while these fierce animals form monogamous couples, during breeding season only the alpha couple is allowed to mate and reproduce.

4. Black Vultures

If you look at a black vulture’s face, you wouldn’t imagine these creatures being capable of romantic love. However, according to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, black vultures are monogamous and mate for life with their partners.

Besides looking very creepy, black vulture males are actually loving creatures that circle the females with extended necks during mating season and they chase them until they find their forever mates. After they mate, black vulture couples stay together all year round. Also, after the first eggs are welcomed into the family, both parents take 24-hour shifts to incubate them.

Photo by Edwin Butter from Shutterstock

5. Gibbons

There are around 19 gibbon species in the world and all of them are known to be monogamous. In their 40 years of lifespan, gibbons prioritize love, and relationships and they create strong bonds with their partners.

Gibbons are very sociable and territorial animals who like to raise a family together, while both parents look after their young together. Also, gibbons love spending time with their partner, they groom each other and vocalize. You could say that they act like married couples with children that seem to have it all.

However, gibbons are also known for cheating on their partner so a breakup between the two is highly possible. The Gibbon community has it all: cheating, breakup, and remarriage.

6. Beavers

While there isn’t enough information on how beavers mate, these cute creatures are known for choosing a partner for life. According to PBS’s NatureWorks, a beaver sticks with their partner for life, and they’re only seeking out new possible partners if the first one dies.

Additionally, a genetic study by Charles University in Prague discovered that European beavers are very loyal and they stay faithful to their partners for life. When it comes to the North American beavers, however, things are a little different, as they also like to “see other people.”

After mating, the male and female act like a married couple and take care of the young together, until one of them dies, and the other will try to move on with their lives by finding a new partner. Even though some of them will occasionally cheat, that’s not enough to call it quits.

7. Sandhill Cranes

Another bird species known to mate for life is the sandhill crane. Sandhill cranes create an indestructible bond with their partners that lasts until one of the partners dies. Then, the single one will seek out a new partner, because let’s face it, no one likes to be alone.

When sandhill cranes start migrating in March, the single ones will try to find their forever partner. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) says that males and females usually connect by using unison calling. Most birds will find their mate by the time the migration north is complete.

Then, the two love birds will start to create a nest and a family together. Love with a happy ending, don’t you agree?

8. Seahorses

According to Amanda Vincent, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia and founder of the conservation group Project Seahorse, these tiny creatures come together each morning and do their daily dance routine that makes their bond even stronger.

Seahorses like to flirt with potential partners by touching their tails and dancing together. Also, females are known to be very jealous and usually compete with others to get a male’s attention.

As data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service shows, many sea creatures are known to mate for life, but what’s even more fascinating about seahorses, is that the male is the one that gives birth to the little ones. During the mating season, the female lays the eggs in the male’s pouch, and he fertilizes them internally. The tiny seahorses will be released in the water after the eggs hatch in his pouch.

Photo by MZPHOTO.CZ from Shutterstock

9. Barn Owl

When a male is interested in a female, he will give her certain gifts (like dead mice and screeching). If the female responds by croaking, she basically said “I do” and the two will form a beautiful married couple.

Barn owls are also loyal and dedicated creatures. According to the National Wildlife Refuge System in Willapa, Washington, these tiny creatures mate for life. The male brings food to the table while the female takes care of the nest. Teamwork at its finest.

10. Swans

Swans are very beautiful-looking birds and very romantic at the same time. According to The Swan Sanctuary, they typically mate for life.

After the grieving process is over, the single swan will either remain alone, find another stretch of water to live on and possibly a new partner, or rejoin a flock. Additionally, males are very loyal and devoted, as they share egg incubation responsibilities with their partners. Maybe we can’t have swans as house pets, but we can always get the plush version!

If you’re interested to find more information on domestic animals, too, here’s what we recommend reading: These 11 Adorable Dogs Will Get Along With Your Cat!

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