14 Animals That Mate For Life

Love is in the air – especially for these perfect pairs. Get into the Valentine’s Day spirit and join us as we crush on some of the cutest couples in the animal world.

1. Swan


Though beautiful and graceful, swans are fierce creatures that work together to protect their baby cygnets from harm. Some are known to mate for life, forming strong bonds for years to come. However, if issues arise such as nesting failures, the swan will move on to another mate.

2. Black Vulture


Black Vultures are monogamous, as pairs remain together year-round and are believed to mate for life. Families bond closer to each other than to unrelated individuals. Unlike most birds, black vultures do not build nests. Instead, they lay their eggs in hollow logs, caves, and crevices.

3. Macaw


The beautiful and vibrantly colored Macaw is a social bird that gathers in flocks of up to 30 individuals. However, they have their love locked on one. Macaws typically mate for life and these relationships will go beyond basic breeding—they are known to share food and even groom their counterpart.

4. Seahorse


Seahorses are unlike many underwater creatures, not only because they mate for life but also because they are one of the few species in which the males give birth. Male seahorses have a pouch on their ventral, which is where the female will deposit her eggs during mating. The male then fertilizes the eggs internally and carries them until they hatch.

5. Gentoo Penguin


Many penguin species are mostly monogamous, forming life long bonds. During breeding season, couples meet in large colonies of up to a thousand birds where both parents work together to build their nest and take turns incubating their egg.

6. Beaver


Beavers are very social animals and usually live in groups called colonies. Here, monogamous mates pair up and give birth to one to six babies. Beaver families will live together in their own lodge until the young are ready to find a partner of their own.

7. Sandhill Crane


The sandhill crane has some serious game. Birds seek out a mate and form a pair through dance. They’ll perform elaborate movements as a part of their mating ritual and only until their partner is impressed will the cranes breed.

8. French Angelfish


French Angelfish mate for life and are considerably territorial against other pairs. They are not ones to guard the nest, as they reproduce externally and are egg scatterers. However, couples are committed to each other and are known to travel and even hunt together, living out their days side-by-side.

9. Wolf

Wolves Playing

Wolves are famous for their pack mentality and will live in groups of six to ten individuals that are established by a set hierarchy. Often the dominate male and female, called the alphas, will mate for life and are usually the only ones to breed. However, all adults help care for the young pups, whether it is by feeding or watching over them.

10. Albatross


No matter how far away an albatross adventures, the bird makes its way back to the same place to meet the same partner for breeding season. Around every 18 months, couples will produce one egg and take turns taking care of it.

11. Barn Owl


Barn owls are known to be solitary creatures until they meet their match. Once they do, they are very affectionate and can be seen cuddling their counterpart and offspring. Couples form such a strong emotional attachment that if one dies, the other becomes extremely depressed.

12. Turtle Dove


The turtle dove knows a thing or two about love, making the bird a symbol for loyalty and friendship. This creature works best as a couple, with both parents taking care of feeding time and incubation duties for their young.

13. Bald Eagle


While many know them as a symbol for freedom and strength, bald eagles are also considered for their life-long commitments. During breeding season, both the male and female build a giant nest out of sticks and tend to their eggs together. They are a dedicated duo until death do they part—only then will the surviving bird move on to find another mate.

14. Dik-Dik


Dik-diks are small antelopes known for being cautious creatures. Rather than flee or fight predators, they go into hiding when danger seems near. Dik-diks depend on each other for company and support and are rarely seen without their monogamous partner.

Learn more about other animals that love each other for life in the Photo Ark.


  1. B
    February 14, 2016, 3:40 pm

    Wow so many bird species on the list, wonder why that is! The owl picture is really adorable! Happy day!

  2. ocelot152
    June 28, 2016, 5:48 am