We at calitown.com, make a pick of five animals who unlike us humans, mate for life and challenge squarely, our inability to be monogamous.
Gibbons are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life. They form extremely strong pair bonds and exhibit low sexual dimorphism, which means that males and females of the species are of roughly equal size, a testament to the fact that both sexes are on relatively equal footing. The coupled male and female will spend time grooming each other and (literally) hanging out together in the trees. But more recent research has found that these unions are not quite as uncomplicated as once thought. With mates occasionally philandering, and even sometimes dumping a mate, the gibbon mating culture has started to look perhaps a little bit more like ours.
Often portrayed as tricksters and con artists in popular folklore, wolves have a family life that is more loyal and pious than most human relationships. Normally, packs consist of a male, a female and their offspring, essentially making wolf packs akin to a nuclear family.
Swans form monogamous pair bonds that last for many years, and in some cases these bonds can last for life. Their loyalty to their mates is so storied that the image of two swans swimming with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart has become a nearly universal symbol of love. Why birds mate for life isn’t as romantic as it first appears, though. Considering the time needed to migrate, establish territories, incubation, and raising their young, spending extra time to attract a mate would minimize reproductive time.
When it comes to maintaining relationships, bald eagles soar much higher because they typically mate for life, except in the event of their partner’s death or impotency.
Although most rodents have a reputation for promiscuity, prairie voles break the trend, generally forming monogamous pair bonds that occasionally last a lifetime. In fact, the prairie vole is typically cited as an animal model for monogamy in humans. They huddle and groom each other, share nesting and pup-raising responsibilities, and generally show a high level of supportive behaviour.
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