( Photography by Getty images)
Human relationships are so messy that we are sometimes compared to animals. In truth this theory really is unfair to animals.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), about five percent of all mammal species and 90 percent of all bird species are actually monogamous. Monogamous means that they choose a partner and stick with them through the good times and the bad times for life. Here are 5 animals that you probably did not know are monogamous.
You've probably seen many awesomely elegant angelfish at aquarium stores, but how much do you really know about them?
Many people are not aware that angel fish mate for life. Angelfish that are ready to breed will select mates on their own. They usually chose a mate when they are still young before they are even mature enough to mate. Two adult angelfish that are ready to spawn will first spend time getting to know each other and then will express affection by grooming each other. As the time for spawning draws closer, the parent fish will begin cleaning a spawning site. The females who are ready to spawn will have a bulging belly filled with eggs and both the male and female angelfish may become more aggressive towards other tank mates during this time.
If they are in a group of fish, they will choose their own territory in the tank to claim for themselves and then protect their territory from their tank mates. Once they have their privacy, the long courted couple will choose a flat surface in the tank for mating. They will prepare the surface by cleaning it for about 24 hours to be sure it's perfect. Then the female will lay the eggs and the male, follows closely behind her, will then began to fertilize them. They will repeat their ritual several times for about two hours. Then after a full 24 hours the eggs will become completely fertilized. The new parents will watch over their eggs and wait for them to mature into fish fry. Not the fish fry you are accustomed to that comes with hush puppies and French fries. Fry is the proper name for baby fish. Once the fry hatch, angelfish are not prone to eating their baby fish like many species of fish often do.
2. American black vultures
Black vultures kind of get a bad reputation. People often think of them as only stinky death eating birds. Black vultures are not typical though of as romantic or family oriented but it turns out that they are. Black Vultures mate for life. When vultures are about to mate they engage in a ritual of chase diving. While in flight, the male will gain a higher altitude than the prospective female. Then, he dives at her and she dives away. This behavior results in a fast descending chase downwards that can last up to 4 seconds. The male then begins a circling dance around the standing female. He stretches out his neck and releases a song of hisses to his chosen female. The pair then faces each other with open wings while they bob their heads up and down in a mating dance. The nesting pair has already chosen a safe nesting spot for their offspring 4 to 6 weeks prior to mating like responsible adults. Both birds spend hours perched together near the prospective nest site checking for the traffic of possible predators and dangerous risks to their young. They normally will produce two eggs and on rare occasions possibly even three.
Both the male and female will share the incubation duties pretty equally with multiple shift changes throughout the day.
Both parents feed their young for as many as eight months after they hatch, and they maintain a strong social bond with their families throughout their lives. However they are realist and will re-mate with another if their chosen mate dies.
Since coyotes are in the canine family many of us just think of them as wild dogs. Dogs are so well known for being non monogamous that we humans even call our non monogamous rolling stone counter parts dogs. A recent study of urban coyotes in 2012 was conducted by the national geographic shows that these canine cousins are loyal to their mates and never stray from their chosen life mate. But like black vultures they will choose another mate if their mate dies. Coyotes have a large litter of coyotes puppies so it is crucial that they have a monogamous lifestyle for their survival. They can have as many as seven pups and rarely have less than 4 per litter. Both parents take turns caring for the litter. Coyote families stick together for life even after their pups become adults.
Pigeon are considered to be one of the most intelligent and affectionate birds . They love to cuddle with each other and give each their little pecks that resemble kisses. The nesting habits of Pigeons are very unique. The male will choose a site in view of the female. He will select one stick and bringing it to her and lays it in front of her. If the female likes and appreciates the invitation the male has made to build her a home she will then place the stick beneath herself. They will then both proceed to collect rocks ,stems and leaves to build the nest. The female will spend majority of the time incubating the eggs from mid afternoon to mid morning. The male will care for them when the female needs to eat . When the squab hatch the female will care for them mostly until they are old enough to fly. Once they are old enough to fly they will be taught how to fly and how to hunt by their father.
Termite are monogamous and they tend to stay with the same mate for a very long time. Termites will stay with each other for up to 20 years in some species. However, termites are known to have pretty messy relationships just like humans.
Behind the scenes in termite communities there is a battleground of violence, desertion and divorce. Termites tend to be very choosy about potential mates. In some cases they have been known to ditch a partner if a better mate comes along. More than half of their pairings ended in break-up, and are often accompanied by physical violence. Termites would make for awesome Jerry Springer guest because couples will confront their lover or their mate and chew off each others’ antennae out of vengeance.
Males tended to walk out, deserting the female and looking for a new partner elsewhere. Females, generally stay home and invite other suitor into the nest. If the current partner is already at home a northern male suitor will still come over for a visit bravely. They will fight the existing male bitterly until one is thrown out and the female will encourage it. Termite lifestyles don't sound very family oriented but their monogamy is good for the colony and the protection of their offspring.