Here are 10 species who are known for their lifelong pair bonds and their love is forever 

Humans like to think of themselves as a faithful species, but when it comes to true fidelity, many other animals offer better examples of how to keep a relationship together. Although monogamy and lifelong pair bonds are generally rare in the animal kingdom, there are some animals that pull it off.

According to the National Science Foundation, scientists currently estimate that only about 3-5% of the mammal species on Earth practice monogamy, whether for the short term or the long term. Very few birds, fish, or amphibians practice monogamy. Believe it or not, some insects are monogamous.

1. Wolves Often victim to myths and stereotypes about being cold-blooded killers, wolves are really quite loyal to members of their family and have complex social structures within their packs. The alpha male and alpha female within packs mate for life and share leadership roles and responsibilities caring for their young and other pack members. The alphas are typically the only ones who breed, but occasionally others, known as subordinates, will also mate.

2. Bald Eagles These fearsome raptors may not seem like the romantic type, but they also partner up for life. According to studies on their behavior, they court and reinforce their bond through elaborate displays that involve locking their talons in mid-air before free falling through the sky. Thanks to raptor cams, we’ve also been able to see these giant birds delicately caring for their young.

3. Beavers Known for their elaborate dam building skills, beavers are monogamous creatures who stay together for life, living in family groups, or colonies, made up of parents and their offspring. Adults stay together in these colonies and care for their young for the first two years of their lives, teaching them valuable skills, before they go off to find their own mates.

4. Albatross They don’t just mate for life, but engage in an elaborate courtship ritual before settling down with a partner that consists of a precise sequence of dance moves when choosing a partner. They also raise their young together, before sending them off into the world to find their own mates.

5. Sea Horses Sea horses are unique and fascinating little creatures that live in a broad range of marine environments. Sea horses are technically considered a fish, but unlike most fish species, they form monogamous pairs that stay together for life. Sea horses are also known for the role the males play in reproduction. Females deposit eggs in the male’s pouch, where he fertilizes and carries them until giving birth.

6. Arctic foxes usually mate for life, and both mother and father help raise the pups.

7. Coyotes A new study of coyote relationships has found that the only “tail” they chase is probably their own (or the Road Runner’s. Meep! Meep!) A recent study of urban coyotes shows that these canine cousins are loyal to their mates and never stray. Not ever. The surprising bit? This fidelity is helping coyotes to thrive in these new urban environments.

8. Ravens mate for life and live in pairs in a fixed territory.

9. Barn Owls They mate for life and become very emotionally attached to their partner.

10. Condors They mate for life, and can live to the ripe old age of 50, but they reproduce slowly, and young condors are a big responsibility for parent birds since they are unable to fly for their first 6 months, and remain reliant for a further 2 years.

Responses to "10 Animals Who Mate For Life (Photos)"

  1. pfkisa says:

    Here are more: Peregrine falcons, Red-tailed hawks, and Great horned owls.

  2. Canadian Geese and Squirrels also mate for life.

  3. Carina E says:

    White swans also mate for life. All of these are beautiful animals!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cardinals also mate for life.

  5. Daniel Martin says:

    here in Argentina Patagonia we have an endemic mamal called Mara(Dolichotis patagonum ) , they mate for life

  6. Anonymous says:

    Herring Gulls mate for life, but if a partner is killed or dies, they will replace with a new mate.

  7. sandyg says:

    Osprey. Egyptian geese.

  8. Bermuda longtails

  9. Too bad we can't put people on the list.

  10. Anonymous says:

    along with barn owls Australia have the tyto novaehollandiae owl also known as the masked owl very similar to these owls. they mate for life. and the only time you will ever hear them is during mating season, if your lucky and they live in pairs in their own territory that spans 70klm radius. they dont live in barns but in the wild and they are beautifully majestic animals.

  11. Tanja says:


  12. Unknown says:

    Some humans!

  13. And they will mourn when a mate is lost. I was once told a touching story by a man who shot and killed a Canada Goose. As he walked up, its mate was bent over the other one making a low pitched sobbing call. He said he never picked up a gun to hunt again.

  14. Brooklyn says:

    In response to Digital Diva above, squirrels definitely DO NOT mate for life. I'm a wildlife rehabber who specializes in squirrels and I just wanted to set that straight. In a way, it's good, because most squirrels (70%) do not survive even to their first birthday due to starvation, cars and predators, en route to finding food, and human poisoning and traps. It is likely a squirrel would lose a mate frequently...and we would hate to have a mass population of mourning, depressed squirrels.

  15. Harpias, a Brazilian eagle too

  16. Nina says:

    Wales and Indian cranes...

  17. Unknown says:

    Squirrels also mate for life.

  18. Unknown says:

    octopus, geese and penguins mate for life.

  19. Unknown says:

    You forgot Swans.

  20. Unknown says:

    I enjoyed all of the comments.

  21. Unknown says:

    I believe marlins also mate for life. Have heard, when one is 'caught' the grieving partner will chase down the boat, often dying in the process. :(

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