10 Animals That Mate For Life

10 Animals That Mate For Life

People have proven time and again that monogamy is, if not natural, then at least unrealistic for homo sapiens. This doesn't apply to all species. Some stay together for live, even if they don't have designated special occasions such as Valentine's Day or even weddings.


Gibbons are primate examples of monogamy, according to Scientific American. Couples spend time literally grooming each other and hang out in the trees. They have their share of problems, too. Recent research has shown some have casual relationships on a side.


Beavers are another of the rare mammal species who mate for life, the National Wildlife Federation says. They live in colonies which are made by mated beaver pairs and used to raise their children. The "kids" move out in about two years to find their own "The One" and live for up to 20 years "happily ever after."


The pairing of an alpha male and female establishes the social structure for the rest of a gray wolf pack, according to National Geographic. The mainly monogamous duo will breed once per year. Mating season is usually between January and April. The duo may even move out of the pack to avoid being disturbed.

Shingleback Skink

This reptile has been known to pair with the same mate for 20 years. The male starts following the "chosen one" as soon as he sees and likes her. Believe it or not, she may be playing hard to get and make him work at it for months. When one of them dies, the other stays by his or her side for days, according to Encyclopedia of Life.


They get excited every time they see each other and show their love for one another by cackling and swinging their heads. This is known as an "ecstatic display," according to National Geographic. However, some penguins have been known to pair up just for the breeding seasons. Most eventually return to each other.

Bald Eagles

Bald eagles generally mate for life, or at least for a very long time. However, studies show that when one dies the surviving eagle generally finds a new mate very quickly, according to the National Eagle Center. It will likely use the existing nest with its new partner because of eagles' strong nest site fidelity.

Black Vultures

Black Vultures are monogamous and pairs are believed to stay together until they die. They also don't separate during the year, even outside breeding seasons, according to Hawk Mountain. Part of the mating ritual could be chasing after the female and diving at her.


Swans are famous for having a reputation of being faithful partners. But whatever feelings they may have for each other, this loyalty is a strategy for maximizing the number of cygnets they can raise. Male black-necked swans use their wings to beat away any would-be suitors during the breeding season, according to National Geographic.  


A study of coyote relationships has found that they are loyal to their mates and never stray, according to National Geographic. Not ever. This kind of loyalty is helping them thrive in new urban environments. There are about 2,000 urban coyotes in the Chicago metropolitan area alone. They live longer than their wild cousins, and their numbers are larger.

Barn Owls

Not only do they mate for life, but male barn owls try to impress their partners in any way they can, according to the National Wildlife Federation. They will go out of their way to hunt more in order to present their mate with extra food during courtship.