Mating For Life, Other Species Are Better At It


photo: J. Novak

On this the day before Valentine's Day, it can be a bit disconcerting to hear that nearly 50 percent of marriages in this country end in divorce. While many problems lead to this frightening average, infidelity is a big one. But according to Mother Nature Network, you'd have a lot better chance of staying together if you weren't a human at all. Mother Nature Network's slideshow of 11 Species That Mate For Life brings new significance to all the species that we so often deem insignificant by our actions. The gibbon, closely related to the human genetically, not only mates for life but forms a tremendously strong bond with their mate. According to MNN, both sides of the relationship are pretty equal because female and male gibbons are about the same size. The problem is the gibbon's habitat is in tropical and subtropical rainforests from northeast India to Indonesia especially Sumatra, Borneo, and Java where environmental destruction that goes along with the massive oil palm plantations are clearing trees so rapidly that up to 98 percent of Malaysian and Indonesian rainforests may be destroyed by 2022. What if you lost your lover due to habitat destruction?

And what about the French angel fish (though not listed, a lifelong mater)? If we decide to eat a French angel fish for dinner or maybe take one home to our own personal fish tank, we are essentially breaking up a lifelong marriage. French angel fish are monogamous and the pairs are strongly territorial meaning they fight tooth and nail to defend their love shacks against other couples.

And what about the black vulture? If they get caught cheating a community of vultures attack those caught doing the dirty. Maybe a few of us would abstain from cheating if we thought that we were going to get publically assaulted by a group. It seems a bit ridiculous that for us to deem a species worthwhile we have to humanize them, but if that's what it takes I'm all for it. Especially when it seems that there is no shortage of other creatures that are may better at the marriage thing than we are and they don't need the average $20,000 wedding to get it started right.

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