5 Surprising Animals That Mate for Life

If you haven’t found a quarantine buddy yet, it’s too late. You can’t make new friends without exposing yourself to the novel coronavirus. If you already have a quarantine buddy, you may be at the point where you’re wondering how it’s possible to spend so much time with a person without turning just a little homicidal. We’ve gathered a list of five animals that mate for life to inspire you to make it through quarantine without buddy-swapping.  

Photo by Manon Buizert on Unsplash

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago took the Internet by storm this week. They tweeted videos of their penguins exploring the shut-down aquarium. Two of their rockhopper penguins, Edward and Annie, toured several exhibits before heading back to their enclosure and starting their nesting behaviors such as gathering rocks, grass, and branches to keep their eggs safe. You can live vicariously through Edward and Annie’s aquarium date at Shedd’s Twitter feed.  

Photo by Leila Boujnane on Unsplash

The dik-dik is a tiny antelope native to Eastern and Southern Africa. They get up to 13 pounds and just over a foot tall at the shoulder. While they mate for life, the dik-dik protect each other with their exceptional eyesight. While one of the pair sleeps or eats, the other stands guard still and keeps lookout. You and your quarantine buddy are probably doing something similar, taking turns looking out the window, or scrolling through Netflix. Unlike you, the dik-dik can run up to 26 mph if needed.    

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

These sea birds have the largest wingspan at 11 feet, and they live upwards of 50 years. On the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii, over a million albatross gather to mate, lay eggs, and raise their young together. The oldest bird on the Atoll is 65, a female names Wisdom who scientists tagged back in 1956. Since then, she’s flown over 3 million miles. Mating is the only reason albatross land, otherwise they engage in migratory behavior, riding ocean winds for hours at a time. Must be nice. 

Photo by Ben Amaral on Unsplash

Beavers live in nuclear families comprising two monogamous adults and a litter of kits. While beavers sometimes take part in extra-pair copulation, you should practice social distancing and commit to your rodent lodge. Beavers are remarkable because they engineer their needs from their environment. They build dams to create ponds, and lodges for their families to inhabit, all with just their massive front teeth. Use the beaver as inspiration for starting a craft project with your quarantine buddy.   


Photo by Alan J. Hendry on Unsplash
Black Vultures

If you run out of supplies, channel the aggressive black vulture before heading into the world. They live in small flocks that circle high while foraging. Their primary food source is carrion, which they’ll chase other scavengers off of; but they also eat the live young of larger mammals, birds, lizards, and sea turtles. They also, like you may in a few weeks, eat rotting vegetables, and scraps from garbage dumps. They’re monogamous, and scientists believe they mate for life, staying together year round. Just like you and your quarantine buddy.