APR 23, 2017 5:57 PM PDT

Do animals really mate for life?


We know that some animals are loyal to their partner for their entire lifetime, something that most humans even struggle with, but why exactly do some species mate for life? And are there any species that are completely, and faithfully monogamous?

Take the albatross, for example, which is known not only for its long wingspan and tireless flying capabilities, but also for its fidelity. Young albatross will express their interest to each other with a courting dance before settling on a lifelong partner. But once they've chosen, that's it! When physically separate, a pair will return to their nest at the same time to reunite! However, even this most loyal pairing will sometimes have the odd one night stand with another albatross, though cheating doesn't seem to be something worth breaking up over in the albatross world.

That's because being monogamous has its perks in terms of parenting responsibilities, something which humans can relate to as well. The Superb Fairy Wren is a prime case of monogamy on the surface but infidelity under the cover of night - literally. Both female and male fairy wrens will cheat on their otherwise lifelong mates because it makes their chances of passing on their genes better, while at the same time the illusion of monogamy guarantees the pair the resources necessary to raise their offspring. Sound familiar?
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
NOV 19, 2020
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
Sour beer isn't for everyone: its unique taste of acidity and tartness could excite some but turn off others.  ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
APR 01, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Detect X-rays from Uranus for First Time
APR 01, 2021
Astronomers Detect X-rays from Uranus for First Time
Until now, astronomers had detected X-rays from every planet in our solar system apart from the two Ice Giants: Uranus a ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
MAY 29, 2021
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
In two separate studies, researchers led by those at the University of Copenhagen and Queen Mary University of London fo ...
JUL 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
JUL 09, 2021
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
Researchers have developed a "wearable" patch to detect the gaseous substances plants emit when diseased or stressed,
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
Loading Comments...