They say monogamy is costly because it requires one to place their entire reproductive investment on the fitness of their partner, more like putting all their eggs in one basket. Hence I have always wondered about this subject of monogamy and why we humans struggle so much to remain faithful to one partner for life whereas some animals do it with such grace and poise it almost makes one want to emulate them. This concept of monogamy which many tend to associate it with only humans has quite a popularity in the animal kingdom, especially birds and some mammals. With the current divorce rates due to infidelity one might want to look at the animal kingdom for some inspiration. Different religions and cultures have differing opinions when it comes to this subject. Monogamy can be divided into three broad categories, that is:
- Sexual monogamy which is the practice of having sex with one mate at a time.
- Social monogamy which happens when animals form pairs to mate and raise their offspring but still have flings on the side.
- Genetic monogamy which usually occurs when DNA tests can confirm that a female’s offspring was sired by one father.
Below are some of the animals that practice monogamy till death do us part with a relatively lower break up rate than humans.
- Wolves. Apart from being cute and fluffy, these animals mate for life. They start having kids at the age of two and continue to do so annually until one or both of them dies.
- Bald eagles, well they are not literally bald. Its the white feathers on the head compared to the brownish body feathers that give them that name.
- Swans. Apart from being graceful, theses birds are faithful to the end.
- Gibbons. These are one of our close relatives, therefore its more or less expected of them, although they do have “extramarital” affairs sometimes.
- Prairie voles. I also didn’t know what they were, but rumor has it that the male vole prefers to mate exclusively with the first female vole it loses its virginity to. Even more strange is that a male vole will attack any female who tries to seduce it. Very interesting!
- Penguins. Anyone who has watched Happy feet or March of the penguins can relate.
- Black Vultures. They might not be the most beautiful birds on the planet but they know that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and hence mate for life.
If this list does not give you some inspiration, you can try the other list that includes some birds, insects and even some aquatic animals.