What animals mate for life? There are many creatures in the animal kingdom that have different mating partners throughout their lives. There are also monogamous animals. These married couples stay together throughout their lives.
This list of animals that mate for life includes birds, mammals, and reptiles.
# 10 Animals that mate for life: the macaroni penguin
These penguins reach sexual maturity at about 5 years old. The male macaroni penguin attracts the female by bowing and nodding his head. Once they pair up, they remain lifelong friends. Some of these penguins live up to 15 years. After the female lays the eggs, the mother and father take turns sitting on them and hunting for food.
Pasta Penguin Conservation Status – Vulnerable due to population decline.
Learn more about the Pasta Penguin Lifetime Devotion here.
# 9 Animals that mate for life: the crane
At 3 years old, the crane chooses a mate for itself for life. These birds jump, dance and flap their wings as part of a mating ritual.
The male and female whooping cough together build a nest in the mud using reeds. Usually the female lays only one egg and the pair shares the responsibility to keep it warm. After hatching, the parents continue to care for the chick for another 9 months. These birds can live up to 30 years!
The conservation status of this bird is endangered due to population decline.
Learn more about the crane, also known as the tallest bird in North America.
# 8 Animals that mate for life: beavers
Beavers reach sexual maturity at about 2 years of age. The female releases the scent so that the male beavers around her will know that she is ready to mate. Having mated, beavers stay together for life.
After the kittens are born, the female takes care of them, and the male finds food and protects the nest. The mother and father continue to care for the kits until they are 2 years old. In the wild, beavers can live up to 10 years.
The preserved status of the beaver causes the least concern when the population is stable.
Learn more about beavers, including how they build their dams.
# 7 Animals That Mate For Life: The Gray Wolf
Gray wolves are monogamous animals found in Alaska, as well as in Wisconsin, Michigan and Idaho. These monogamous dogs reach sexual maturity at about 3 years old. When the female is ready to mate, she gives off a scent.
The female gray wolf hatches from 5 to 9 cubs once a year. She takes care of the cubs in the den, while the male goes out hunting for prey to feed his family. The male stands guard over his cubs to protect them.
The conservation status of the gray wolf is of least concern when the population is stable.
Learn more about wolves and how they act in a pack here!
# 6 Animals that mate for life: the barn owl
This monogamous bird is best known for its heart-shaped face. These owls reach sexual maturity at the age of 1 year.
The male barn owl has a special call when looking for a mate. As soon as the female is interested, the male tries to feed her. If she accepts food, they will become a couple! A pair of barn owls preening each other while sitting side by side.
The female builds a nest in the tree for her eggs. Once her eggs hatch, she stays in the nest to care for them. Meanwhile, the male hunts for prey to return it to the nest. After the cubs or owls are 3 weeks old, they can be left alone, allowing the pair to hunt for food. They tend to owls until they are 13 weeks old.
Their conservation status of the barn owl is of least concern when the population is stable.
Check out some more barn owl facts right here.
# 5 Animals that mate for life: the monkey
These tree-dwelling monkeys live in the rainforests of South America. They reach sexual maturity at 18 months of age and live for about 16 years.
Monkeys have one life partner for life. Female monkeys give birth to twins twice a year. The male monkey is the main guardian in the family. Pairs of monkeys usually share food and groom their hair.
The preserved status of monkeys is of the least concern due to population decline.
Learn more about monkeys, including how these monkeys communicate.
# 4 Animals that mate for life: the bald eagle
Bald eagles live in the USA and Canada. Sexually mature birds reach the age of 5. As a courtship ritual, the male and female grab their claws and whirl in the air together.
Usually the female lays 2 eggs in a clutch. Both the female and the male take turns sitting on the eggs. The male goes out to hunt the female and chicks. Chicks fledge at about 11 weeks of age and will soon become independent. Eagles can live 20 to 30 years in the wild.
The conservation status of the eagle is of least concern when the population is increasing.
Find out more interesting facts about bald eagles here.
# 3 Animals that mate for life: the prairie vole
These monogamous rodents inhabit grassy fields in the central United States as well as southern Canada. The steppe vole reaches sexual maturity at about 40 days. The males of the steppe vole compete aggressively with other males for the attention of the female.
The female steppe vole gives from 2 to 4 litters per year. Each litter can have up to 7 puppies. The male and female share responsibility for building the nest as well as feeding their young. Puppies can live independently in just 2 weeks. These pairs of rodents groom each other and hide in their burrow.
The preserved status of the steppe vole is of least concern due to its stable population.
Find out more about the busy life of voles right here.
# 2 Animals that mate for life: the mute swan
When considering which animals to mate with for life, thorn swans come to mind. They are found in the Great Lakes, as well as in ponds and lakes in the Pacific Northwest. These birds can live up to 10 years.
Male and female mute swans mate at about 3 years old. Males and females together build a nest from grass and cattail. They take turns sitting on their eggs and feeding the chicks known as swans.
The conservation status of swans is of least concern due to population growth.
Learn more about the thorn swan, including why these birds mate for life.
# 1 Animals that mate for life: lizard with turtle
These lizards live in Australia. Males compete for females, fighting other males and establishing dominance. When a woman and a man are paired, they stay together.
Turtle lizards give birth to their young and share feeding responsibilities. Young people can live independently within a few days after birth. Scientists have observed how these monogamous reptiles walk side by side and rub their heads together.
The preserved status of the tortoiseshell lizard is of least concern due to its stable population.
Find out more about the unique characteristics of a reptile like the lizard right here.
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