What are some animals that mate for life?


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    In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are some species that remain monogamous, breeding with the same partner year after year.


    Many species of eagle, including our nation symbol, the majestic Bald Eagle mate for life. After reaching sexual maturity between the ages of 4 and 5, Bald Eagles select a mate and will continue to return to the couple’s select spot to breed every year for next 10 or 15 of the bird’s life. Scientists have noted however than in the absence or death of one’s mate, some eagles have found new mates to replace them.


    Swans are another species that will usually keep their mates for a lifetime. There have however been reports of swans divorcing, although shockingly enough, these occur almost exclusively after nesting failures or the loss of young. Perhaps these strong bonds are why swans conjure up images of romance and passion today.

    French Angelfish:

    The first fish on our list, the French Angelfish is well known for its complete devotion to its partner. Found in the warm tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, these fish not just mate for life, they spend nearly every second with their spouse, traveling, hunting, sleeping and protecting their territories together. Mature French Angelfish are rarely ever seen alone and if they are, it is usually because their mate has passed away; they do not ‘remarry’ following the death of a spouse.

    Black Vultures:

    Black Vultures may not seem like the most romantic of birds, but they are nonetheless one of the most faithful animals in the entire animal kingdom. Found throughout the warmer climates of the western Hemisphere, black vultures are notorious for their intolerance of infidelity; vultures have been observed attacking other vultures that were unfaithful to their partners, an amazing thing to see in the animal kingdom!

    Prairie Voles:

    While most rodents are well-known for their promiscuity, prairie voles form incredibly close ties with a single partner that can last a lifetime. Burrowing in the grassy fields of North America, these voles produce anywhere between ten and twenty-five young each year; pairs can continue to mate for several years producing more than one hundred offspring. These gentle creatures spend most of their time huddled together in their dens which give them time to socialize and groom one another; they are one of the closest and most supportive animal families in the world.


    Gibbons are one of the few primate species that maintain monogamous relationships for most of their lives. Gibbon pairs sing duets and new couples must be quick to get in synch in order to announce they are together. Gibbons remain faithful to their partners for years and throughout several offspring; some scientists speculate gibbons remain faithful while other primates do not because of the rather long-term dependence young have on the parents.


    Many wolf packs commonly consist of a male, a female and their offspring, essentially creating a traditional family. Wolves however have been known to travel in larger packs with multiple males and/or females but only when hunting is easy and prey plenty. After these brief spells however, pairs will often return to their solitary lives and being completely faithful to one another. 


    One example of extreme devotion comes from the blackest depths of the oceans, the anglerfish. The beasts of the deep are well known for the distinctive glowing lure they use to hunt prey, however, males pay the ultimate price to mate. The tiny male anglerfish must first find a female and then attach himself to her belly with his powerful jaws, fusing himself with her. He gets the blood and food he needs to survive from the female and she gets a constant and steady supply of genetic material. Not the most romantic of arrangements but it certainly is effective at passing on genes.

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    Guinea Hens also supposedly mate for life. One of our guinea hens died last winter and its mate crawled on top of where we had burried it and the next morning we found the mate dead as well. Now thats a broken heart 🙁

    Guinea Hen

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    Other examples of animals that mate for life are Albatrosses and turtle doves. Despite the great distances the albatross fly,when it comes to breed they will always return to the same place and breed with their same partner. Through their affectionate and loud ritual dances, male albatross establish bonds with their female partners that will last a lifetime. Turtle doves are also another example of birds that are monogamous with their partner. Turtle doves have been symbols and emblems of love which is shown through how faithful doves are to their partner.

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    Gibbon apes, wolves, termites, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, golden eagles, condors, swans, brolga cranes, French angel fish, sandhill cranes, pigeons, prions (a seabird), red-tailed hawks, anglerfish, ospreys, prairie voles (a rodent), and black vultures — are a few that mate for life.

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    I believe penguins are mammals that mate for life as well as apes wolves and even termites!  I was very surprised to find that termites mate for life, I had no clue.  Also, black vultures, French angel fish, ospreys, prairie voles ( a rodent), and sandhill cranes.

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    Apparently, Schistosoma mansoni worms, parasites that cause the disease snail fever mate for life.  Isn’t this nice?[img_assist|nid=167852|title=worms|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=512]

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    Lovebirds also mate for life.  Living up to their name, they bond in monogamous pairs and nest, raise their young, and spend most of their time together.  From an evolutionary standpoint, forming monogamous pairs can be very advantageous.  Monogamous animals reduce their risk of incest and infanticide.  They also can be better equipped to be ward off predators because one member of the pair can be on the lookout while the other is caring for the young.  

    love birds

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    “Only about 3 percent of the 4,000 mammal species are monogamous. Beavers, otters, bats, wolves, some foxes, a few hoofed animals, and some primates live together in social pairs but dally sexually much as birds do.” A full list can be found in the link below.

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    Ospreys are my favorite animal that will mate for life. They will not only mate for life, but they will also use the same nest their entire life. For this reason, power companies will build poles and platforms for these magnificent birds to build on, because if they don’t they will have to live with 10 years of the same ospreys fixing a nest on the power poles.

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    Some humans do. Lol. 

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    Apparently black vultures do as well. How lovely. I chucked when someone wrote that some humans mate for life. I was thinking the same thing!

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    Most of these answers are completely wrong.  Termites are NOT monogamous, at all.  Colonies are found to be headed by several reproducers, and males compete through sperm rights (who can produce the best and most offspring) over several queens.

    Penguins are absolutely NOT under any circumstances mammals; they are flightless birds.


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    Albatrosses mate for life. They fly great distances and end up mating with the same partner.

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    the mink mates for life….i think the dolfin does as well….i klnow they are one of the only species that will just mate for pleasure like us.

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    Prairie voles are unusual in being monogamous, because most voles are not.  Some interesting research has been done regarding why this is.  

    Compared to other species of voles, prairie voles have more receptors in their brain that receive vasopressin, one of many neurotransmitters, or chemicals, in the brain that help it to work. The interesting thing is that when more receptors for vasopressin were introduced in the brains of non-monogamous voles, they too became monogamous!

    In human males, vasopressin is believed to play a role in love, sex, and bonding. Good news for romantics: human males seem to have more vasopressin receptors than other apes, indicating monogamy is, at least in part, in our nature 🙂 

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