Are any Animals Truly Monogamous?

Are any Animals Truly Monogamous?

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Monogamy –the practice of mating with a single
individual for an extended period of time–isn’t that popular in the animal kingdom. Only about
3% of mammals are monogamous, and, although 95% of birds pair off (at least for one breeding
season), paternity tests have revealed that the avian world is chock-full of cheaters. The least loyal bird species might be the
superb fairywren: they form lifelong bonds and, if you watched a pair of them from morning
’til night for an entire breeding season, you’d think they were perfectly faithful.
But that’s only because female fairywrens cheat under cover of darkness. Using radio
transmitters to track their movements, researchers discovered that fertile females make daily,
pre-dawn flights to other territories. These trips only last about 15 minutes, but apparently
that’s more than long enough– DNA tests show that just 25% of baby superb fairywrens are
their father’s biological children. So modern genetics might be deflating our
romantic notions about lovebirds, but from a biological standpoint, social monogamy without
sexual monogamy–that is, pairing up with one individual and then copulating with others
on the side–makes a lot more sense than absolute sexual loyalty. For birds, pairing up is a
good strategy because their young require a ton of care, so males increase their chances
of successful reproduction if they stick around and lend a beak. On the other hand, putting
all of one’s eggs in a single basket is a risky proposition, so it also makes sense
for males to try and slip some of their genetic material into a few other nests if they can.
Females, of course, can’t have more than one nest, but for their part they can try to sneak
in some variety. Cheating might also help explain the otherwise
unexpected physical differences between males and females in apparently monogamous species.
We’ve long had a solid explanation for male/female dimorphism in explicitly non-monogamous species:
if a male plans to mate with many females, he needs to win their affection and fend off
other suitors. Over thousands of generations, the traits that help him successfully mate
can become more and more pronounced, even if they serve absolutely no other purpose. For example, male gorillas–who fight each
other for exclusive mating rights with the females in their clan– are much larger than
female gorillas, while male and female gibbons, which are monogamous, are the same size. Which brings us to our favorite primates,
homo sapiens. There are undeniable physical differences between males and females–but
it’s unclear whether they’re pronounced enough to suggest that our ancestors lived in harems
like gorillas or whether our differences stem from a monogamous but adulterous society like
the superb fairywren’s. One thing is clear: among all the species
on Earth, monogamy is rare, and sexual monogamy is rarer. There is, however, at least one known example
of perfect, lifelong fidelity, and its name is Diplozoon paradoxum. When two of these
young flatworms find each other, they literally fuse together to form what looks like a single
organism, and this adultery-free union lasts for their entire long and amorous lives…
which they spend sucking blood from fishgills. A truly romantic attachment!

100 thoughts on “Are any Animals Truly Monogamous?

  • Quinn Holloway Post author

    So humans are the best at love

  • Samir Gómez Novelo Post author

    Some lion prides have two males, they are more succesful defending the pride but also reduces the need to be even stronger. I bet our ancestors lived in a very similar way than we do now, mostly in a social group with distinct pairs and some that are prone to cheat or not have a stable mate. they needed several males to hunt, but the preys were big and challenging enough to trigger the need of stronger males. You can already see the difference with the way our modern society is today, there are more femenine soy boys because we eat a lot of shit with strogen and there is currently no fucking need to get bigger and stronger than the females. This is why feminism is so fucking dangerous to our species, claiming that human sexes are equal is bonkers and dangerous, we are artificially and socially forcing our birth selection making our species weaker and weaker, when technology dies then we will be completely doomed. Males think different than females because of the physical differences, not only on strength and bone structure but also because our roles in reproduction. Males have the time to still do shit while the woman is pregnant, and pregnancy is the reason why males are hardwired to treat females like something preacious even when the woman is infertile and a pretencious piece of shit, in the other hand females are hardwired to seek utility on the males, if you don't offer something you are woth nothing.
    We should have the same rights under the law, but we shouldn't use law to enforce unnatural behaviors just because some twisted moral sense got into some retarded vocal minority. Nature keeps fighting all this progresive afirmative action regarding sex differences, but it doesn't matter how hard they try there will always be differences, even when we keep doing artificial selection. We will go extinct because of this dumb shit and still males and females will be different. Reproduction by mitosis is not fucking posible on such big entities, we are way too complex for that, even animals that can change sex on a crisis are simple enough and they still need to undergo a fucking physical change. Also those species tend not to be sexually dymorphic, they just swap genitals esentially.

  • Dragon Lover123 Post author

    2:05 no offense but i hate humans. Even myself

  • Olya Shafeeva Post author

    the truly moronic notion of applying purely anthropomorphic concepts ('fidelity', 'love', 'cheating') to the animal kingdom doesn't bother anyone but me?

  • 47Sukhoi Post author

    conclusion: Go out women and enjoy being unfaithful and filthy wives.

  • Gadinosaur 3 Post author

    You may kiss the Diplozoon Paradoxum

  • Rikku Takanashi Post author

    Humans are actually a much different case then your common animal. For one thing, we can choose whether or not we breed; well the ones that are careful and such can. For another, we don't pick partners based purely on who would be a good breeder. Well, not usually anymore. We do have social and law based restrictions we've put in place, ourselves, as well. Such as not breeding with a close relative due to the genetic impacts it has. Part of the reason animals "cheat" is to diversity. Most animals will have more babies in their short life then we do in our long lives. Plus, we have easier means of travel so we don't accidentally interbreed. Tbh, there's no reason humans should have to stay in monogamous groups anymore then common animals. But, on the flip side, we have the luxury of being able to safely stay in monogamous groups without heavy risk of interbreeding.

    Really, what keeps us in monogamous groups is society, culture, etc. Harems, were useful when we were still a budding specie or for tribes in areas which frequently faced death, such as desert countries. One might say, monogamous parings prove our stability and advancement as a specie, but I don't exactly think that's true. From a breeding standpoint, that's pretty true, but, humans don't just pair up for breeding purposes. We pair up for love, happiness, beneficial reasons such as to earn wealth or position, to seal deals, etc. Very rarely do we pair up for the sheer sake of having children. So, why is it we've confined ourselves to monogamous pairings? If love is love and it includes more then two people, how is it more advanced to restrict that for nonsensical reasons? Wouldn't the more "advanced" thing to do is to happily share people with each other? Isn't it actually, in a sense, greedy to want to hog a person all to yourself? We may have biologically advanced but have we morally? Why is it bad to have multiple partners so long as everybody loves each other and is happy? We've already got the, don't breed with close relatives rule in place, So what's the problem?

    Don't get me wrong, I'd probably be in a monogamous relationship as well, but I feel love should be love and extend to whatever form it's meant to be for those involved. I just find it interesting that people are so against multi partner relationships when in reality, there's no actual good reason against it.

  • Silver wolf 693 Post author

    1:59 that small one is like: hay i see you have chips

  • Kalle Lellacévej Post author

    These fairy wrens ain't loyal

  • Zoobaba Waffle Post author

    Jeez I swans r a lie

  • PassingBy 666 Post author

    So worms are more loyal that us. OK

  • waffle kitten Post author

    So even animals have sidechicks

  • Arunava chakraborty Post author

    Animal is not educated they kill too their own species. So do human it that human is not educated. Married is too.. married is a successful education…some are fail and some are success and happy..but some are fail they got into polygamous is not for only one..when u traveling and see ur kid have u guy will feel happy..cause u see them happy or married is different.. married is love or love for their kids…simple and easy thing. But if u want to enjoy love without having love..then enjoy. It no body said u to dont

  • MIMIK Post author

    I almost puked, as I drank not so clear drink while seeing these blood sucking worms

  • Micah Lau Post author


  • amberbydreamsart Post author

    I guess by that standard would the anglerfish be truly monogamous as well? another species where the mating pair fuse to functionally become one individual

  • Dustin Boyd Post author

    Tl;dw: monogamy is extremely rare in nature, so cheating isn't as bad as you think, at least from a "perpetuation of the species" standpoint.

    Disclaimer: But that also doesn't mean you should cheat as there are plenty of humans already. Don't ruin your relationships just because science says cheating is a natural occurrence for species that are, broadly speaking, less intelligent than humans.

  • Silver Night Post author

    NTR is natural

  • Brady Migel Post author

    Really good video! Cool channel.

  • Conrad Kelii Chun Fook Post author

    Ravens are monogamous

  • Reaper’s Babe Post author

    Some parasites have better love stories than I will ever have…

  • Julie Lee Post author

    Wow blood sucking worms are one of a few who don’t cheat of their mates

  • Miss Sweetie Post author


  • Lazy Crew Post author

    Rarer isn't a word
    (Srry couldn't spell)

    It's lengendary to happen

  • Esther Zekic Post author

    I'd say the best true example of Love birds, is the black swan. They form life long bonds, and if one is injured or taken away the other gets stressed, anxious, and often short tempered. True love.

  • Kitty Post author

    doves are a type of bird that will not cheat
    even when a doves loved partner dies it will remain alone for the rest of it's life even on mating seaseon

  • loana rosati Post author


  • Dogology Class Post author

    Extremely interesting. hm. WOw, so true, like slap in the face true, but it's part of life. Humans try so hard to believe the whole one female and the same mate forever. But let's be real, people, Naturally it just doesn't work. Why do we all end up cheating? Because it just doesn't work. Ha! Try sticking to bachelorism.

  • The small Egg 12 Post author

    Why are we stalking birds.

  • Swily Post author

    how do worms even get to a fish??

  • broc mid'knight Post author

    The animal that cheats the most this is what I think the lion doesn't he mate a lot of the girls
    In his pride?

  • Amanda Zou Post author

    In animals the boys gotta impress the girls but in HUMANS boys AND girls gotta impress each other and thus I can conclude we the Homo sapiens are indeed monogamous

  • Philip Tchaikovsky Post author

    1:34 there is SGP grey here

  • CarlBenedictA. Galaraga Post author

    human are the number one cheater they alway cheat in love hahahaha

  • Wayne Liang Post author

    When people say human are monogamous, what they don't see is that a lot of civilizations eg.chinese and Islam allow men to have multiple partners. It is until the rise of western civilization that most people (still not all) are so called"monogamous"

  • Wølfaii ôwô Post author

    “A truly romantic attachment”
    I see what you did there, you did that because they attach onto fish!

  • Super gamer Post author

    So worms are loyal then entire living organisms.time to find a worm for me

  • xSpicy_93x Post author

    It sounds like modern feminist

  • Hallow Trash Post author

    I thought penguins would try to be monogamous

  • frozen doge Post author

    Lol i got a flex seal ad

  • Amy Lacey Post author

    what about wolves? i heard they wont get another mate unless one dies

  • Ms. Possum Post author

    1:41 Im just gonna leave this here

  • Brandon Wombacher Post author

    3% Thats Pathetic

  • Na Ni! Post author

    what abt wolves i thou they also loyal

  • bull elephant seal Post author

    I love birds

  • frustrated last bencher Post author

    Thanks that really helped…
    So,my ex was a hoe cause ain't an earthworms.

  • Lil Ra Ra Post author

    Basically not too many other animals are monogamous bc it doesn’t make logical sense

  • Thunder Eagle 6 Post author

    1:42 meme

  • Blossom 77 Post author

    3:13 taking each other as one flesh just like the Bible says that what marriage is…..

  • RU MO Post author

    What a romantic video😂😂😂😂

  • Colin Verbauwen Studio’s Post author

    How about the eagle?
    They stay by their sides for live

  • Avocado Post author

    The human concept of ethics doesn’t apply to nature so don’t force your preaching into animals m’k?

  • J Post author

    Ok now explain monogamous homosexuals

  • ItzBritt Post author

    the animal kingdom is all about…..babies


  • Badger Cord Post author

    how nerds explain they cheated

  • Dom M. Post author

    That harem explanation actually makes a lot of sense considering how common it was for rulers in ancient civilisations to have many wives and concubines. King Solomon was said to have had 300 concubines (even if you don't believe in the Bible, this does tell us a lot about what people thought was acceptable at the time), in Japan Emperors Meiji, Koumei and Taishou were all born to concubines, and in feudal China the ruling class had taken so many concubines that there was a legal limit enforced in the 1st century.

    The fact that men in the ruling class kept such a wildly disproportionate share of the female population to themselves was probably a big factor in monogamy becoming popular in the first place, for the sake of egalitarianism. It goes without saying, then that any modern straight man who isn't part of the 1% should consider themselves very lucky that they never lived in the pre-Christian world.

    Cheating, however seems to be objectively bad from a human perspective because it's done behind a spouse's back and therefore diminishes trust in the relationship, which diminishes the love people could've otherwise had for one another. If you have to hide something that you're doing from your partner, you probably already think it's an awful thing to do deep down, anyway. I can also see STDs becoming an issue if nobody's keeping tabs on who's having sex with who.

  • Neslişah Köprülü Post author

    But above all this, homo sapiens have the psychological power to commit to one person for the rest of their life. Other mammals are living with instinct to survive and mate with a lot of members of their species so they can eliminate their risk of extinction.

  • LordOfTrash Post author

    Same argument I always hear. Polygamy exists in nature; that animals do it, so it should be considered normal… Well some animals also eat their own shit, and sometimes kill and eat their own cubs. So there goes that argument right out the window.

  • / CloudTopDizzyToons Post author

    Isn’t there an insect that literally seals one of the female’s reproductive organs so that she can’t mate with a different Male after she’s had the sealer’s young?

  • Flipside Gacha Post author

    Goddamn humans are strange

  • The Official Lemon Show Post author

    0:20 Too cute 😊😊😊😊😊

  • Why Do I Exist Post author

    Wolves are monogamous

  • Friedbert Windelmann Post author

    lmao cucks

  • dafnesway Post author

    It's weird to call it cheating 😂 like how do we know they're not consenting?

  • Coolbeans Post author

    I found my cat “doing it” with some random stray.… Three months after mating with a white Persian.

  • Fresh Peppers Post author

    Pigeons stay with one mate until their mate dies.

  • Pancakes and Waffles Post author

    What about parakeets they keep life partners… captivity

  • Redcharget Post author

    Male bird: u cheating on me woman?
    Female bird: nope
    Male bird: a human took a dna test of our eggs and they found out 75% are not mine
    Female bird: hehe…

  • Jason muhleman Post author

    Ah, so cheating is something im designed to want to do

  • Lollypopcorn97 Post author

    I guess we should consider, though, that the growing of a human baby is extremely long, complicated and costly in terms of energy and resources.
    Our offsprings don't reach maturity in one mating season and to achieve higher chances to have a psychologically strong and stable child with social skills, the best way is to be capable parents through all its youth. Also, having just one trustworthy partner is a protective factor, as it satisfies our emotional needs and can also help avoid dangerous stds. On top of that, It helps mantaining variety in DNA pools, especially when talking about small groups living close together.
    So, for us and in our society, monogamy IS quite a good option.
    That doesn't mean we are supposed to have "only one partner for Life", but rather *just one partner for some years*; it's the better solution we have.

  • Starmarie Jackson Post author

    The lioness of a Pride are sisters and the one male lion mates with just one female.

  • Patrick Star Post author

    And I -oop

  • tae.gguk Post author

    wow my bird was a hoe

  • Shawn Smith Post author

    Humans barely are nowadays

  • Z̶h̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ OKS Post author

    0:11 ummm….i think 2% is missing XD

  • Onyx Blue Post author

    Somebody Call Maury!

  • blue eon Post author

    I guess tha part about birds cheating explains why my ex boyfriend have a couple of birds tattoed on his arm.

  • Reuben Caldwell Post author

    Albatross seems to be the only one that's actually loyal, they literally can only pick one mate in their entire lives comfortably. If a partner dies, and the living member's fertility drops significantly often never breeding again or if they do, fail to hatch most eggs.

  • Jieevz Post author

    So basically in order to get TRUE GENDER EQUALITY, we need to start being more loyal so we females can grow equaly as strong as other males…, Got it thanks, I think im just gonna Stay single hehehehhe

  • Delia& Laura Post author

    Note to self don’t use “I wanna be with forever like a diplozoon paradoxum “ as a pick up line

  • the mysterious Post author

    My respect for gibbons increased

  • The Cubb Boi Post author

    Hey honey I found this 5 star restaurant

    What’s it called?

    Salmon gills

    Oh sounds fancy

  • Earthy Carl Post author

    It’s like the ugly goose

  • Kevin Silva Post author

    Now I know why my parents are doing this, thanks!!!

  • Zerø of a Herø Post author

    What about foxes?
    When the male dies the female gets another male but if the female dies the male never mates again, if they die together they are forever.

  • Alternating Current Post author

    Thanks for ruining my faith in finding a loyal partner 😂

  • JoNatHan K Post author

    This video is very entertaining. Not very educational.

  • Dr okoh sopuru Post author

    Males vs females

  • Fenrisúlfr Vánagandr Post author

    If you suck blood together forever

    No one needs to pay for the date

  • Hermione Garanger Post author

    Thanks, now I know that about 98% of birds don't stay together….. They CHEAT

  • Ni Blue Post author

    How did the term lovebirds come into play…?

  • Ken Webster Post author

    Good to know I'm among just 3%. I guess that's what you call a statistical anomaly, outlier or gross error but I'm happy with that.

  • Kasey Marriott Post author

    just get yourmpet bird only one mate and boom

  • Kimberly Post author

    This does not apply to Blue Jays. Most of them are mated for life.

  • Юлия Страхова Post author

    1) pair off

    : to join together in a romantic relationship

    He hated being single while his friends were pairing off and having kids.

    2) avian

    : of, relating to, or derived from birds

    3) chock-full
    completely full — usually + of


  • Jonnatan Contreras Post author

    So girl birds are very promiscuous is what you’re telling huh 😐

  • New Russia Is a country Post author

    Alabama 100

  • JAY Leonillo Post author

    My dog was born peach and white instead of
    Brown or black
    My dogs mom is black
    While my dogs dad is white
    P.S the other pups are the same with its mom

  • Johny Corporations Post author

    wow at least animals have a reason to cheat we humans only do it for fun

  • N a t s u k i D r a w s Post author

    If I ever cheat on a smart guy, I’ll send him the link of this.

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