The animal kingdom is filled with the most unique and awe-inspiring creatures; it never ceases to amaze us. One such aspect is monogamy. Here's a list of animals that mate for life.
Bald eagles lovingly preen each other's feathers as a symbol of 'love'. Swans touching each other's beaks, or Prairie voles cuddling and snuggling are similar signs of affection.
Too Much PDA!
Monogamy is staying with one partner for life. It is associated with humans for their ability to find one partner and stay with them forever. But, recent studies show that current divorce rate is the highest ever, with 50% marriages ending in few months or years.
Now it is time to shift focus to the animal kingdom. Research shows that around 90% of all bird species form monogamous pairs, as compared to a dismal 3% of mammals.
Most of these pairs last for many decades, or until one partner dies. There are always a few who do not like following rules, but species listed here rank high in the commitment section.
Gibbons are closest relatives of humans to have near monogamous relationships. Sexual dimorphism is not very strong in them, meaning the males and females look alike, giving them more gender equality.
Most couples mate for life, raising babies, grooming, and spending time together. However, studies show that they are not as committed as once believed, with many males found cheating or breaking up with partners to find new ones.
Wolves are a classic example of a tight-knit, loving family. They can give a similarly close-knit human family a run for its money. Wolves are pack animals that form strong bonds with their partners.
The pack normally has the wolf couple and their kids. However, they are not as sacrificial as the Angelfish, and do form new pairs if one of the partner dies.
Apart from eating away your precious wooden furniture, termites also find lifelong or exclusive mates. Usually, the queen mates with one male or a few males to create the colony.
However, in some species, there is a king and queen, and they pair up exclusively to create the colony. They do not procreate with any other termite and form a lifelong pair.
Although not completely monogamous animals, most penguins form bonds for life. The pair raises their offspring together through the harsh and difficult winter.
Although some species choose to mate exclusively for the particular mating season, there are some that stay together till the end.
The French Angelfish are a good example of "I will stick with you forever." They bond for life, and literally do everything together. They live, swim and hunt together, and being territorial in nature, fight and defend their space together!
You will rarely find this fish alone, and in the event of a partner's death, the surviving one may not even get together with someone else! Now that's what we call true love.
The national bird of the United States sure teaches us all a value or two about everlasting love. The Bald Eagle is one bird that stays with its partner for a very, very long time.
Relationships have been documented to run strong for as long as 25 years. However, in case of death of one bird, the surviving partner does find another one.
These symbols of love live up to their name by forming lasting bonds with their partners.
Nobody is perfect, and with swans too, there is bound to be some hanky panky on the side. However, most pairs stay together till one of them dies. The male builds the nest and helps in raising the babies.
These birds love their partners, and fly great distances to come back to them to mate. Albatrosses form lasting and strong bonds, which last for decades.
There are some unfaithful ones, but these are mostly committed to their partners, and wait for them to return from their flights for finding food. The level of faithfulness differs among species, but they do not cheat.
It is clear after looking at these birds that when in love, looks really don't matter. Black vultures take monogamy very, very seriously.
Studies by researchers have proven this; after conducting a genetic study on black vulture chicks, they found that nearly all the chicks were born from the same pairs that were raising them.
Not just that, black vultures commonly attack those of their kind who are found cheating on their partners! Highly-principled birds, we must say.
Cute little rodents with strong commitments, humans can learn a lot from them. Unlike others of their species, Prairie voles are monogamous in their relationships. The pair bonds for life, and does everything a proper couple does.
The two build a nest together, raise babies together, distribute work around the nest amongst themselves, and in their spare time, groom and cuddle each other. It can't get more adorable than this.
Schistosoma mansoni worms
Malagasy giant rat
Some More Examples
It is clear that monogamy exists even in the animal kingdom, and wild animals are as capable of affection and commitment as humans. Maybe it's time to look outside our world and take a few pointers from these animals.