Monogamous Animals: 5 species that mate for life
In human society, monogamy has people who support it and others who believe that monogamous species are unnatural. For some, monogamy is necessary for a happy relationship. For others, open relationships are more preferable than monogamy.
However, in the animal world, there are a few monogamous species. These are 5 monogamous species that will make you question your own relationship.
Gibbons, the most self-sacrificing primates
With a life expectancy of between 35 to 40 years, gibbons (in the picture above) form a close bond with their mate that lasts as their entire lives. Once they reach sexual maturity at 5 years old — which, is quite long — they focus all their attention on only one gibbon.
This species is so committed to their mate that they will protect them with their lives. It’s common to find these noisy animals sitting on a branch and grooming their lifelong partner. They also vocalize what they feel with freedom. However, fidelity isn’t always practiced among this species. There are some couples that “break up” and end up hooking up with other monkeys.
The Tender Side of the Gray Wolf
These predators live in a pack that’s made up of a male and a female, that live together during their entire lives (or until one dies). They even help raise each other’s young and teach them to hunt in order to provide food for the family.
The alpha wolf couple will reproduce with each other until death does them apart. These animals have a constant reproductive cycle. However, female gray wolves are traditionally in heat during the months of January and February.
The Utilitarian Monogamy of the Beaver
Numerous studies have shown that some of the most beloved and admired monogamous species are actually not trying to go through the hassle of finding new partners.
In this case, the beaver is one of these types of animals. One of the most important activities of a beaver’ life — other than procreating — is constructing dams and burrows where they will spend most of their time in.
While these animals care for their offspring, beavers have to work from sunrise to sunset so the current doesn’t wash away all of their hard work. For this species, monogamy and teamwork merge and offer a more utilitarian approach to life as a couple.
The Beauty of Swans in Love
Although there are many species of birds that are monogamous, the commitment of male swans stands out from other couples in the animal world.
The male swan not only helps the female build the nest but also takes turns incubating the eggs. This is unlike many other males that only help the female for different tasks. As interesting as it sounds, male swans change traditional gender roles.
These animals procreate with a single partner during their entire lives. It’s quite amazing, but it all comes down due to survival reasons.
The intestinal parasite Schistosoma mansoni is also monogamous
This parasite causes schistosomiasis in humans. Although it seems like there is nothing romantic about parasites, it is one of the few species of worms that are monogamous, despite the fact that they live inside of people.
This intestinal parasite penetrates the skin through hair follicles on the body. It deposits larvae in your bloodstream so that they can feed on the pulmonary and lymphatic system. A couple in love can produce 300 eggs a day.