Who Mates For Life?
For the past few days, I have been listening to the song “Foxes Mate for Life” by Born Ruffians over and over again. It’s quite catchy. Basically, the chorus goes like this: “And I know foxes mate for life because they’re in love.” After hearing that line 15 times, I started wondering whether foxes actually mate for life or whether it just made a catchy chorus. It turns out that some species, like the Fennec fox and the Gray fox, do.
And then there are wolves. Wolves are generally monogamous, but sometimes they breed polygamously (if the male is unrelated and there’s enough prey around). Also, if one of the wolves kicks the bucket, the one that’s left might go find a new mate. The one animal species that actually mates for life is the anglerfish. They live very deep in the ocean, and the male bites his chosen female and hangs on. Eventually, their skin fuses and their bodies grow together. The male basically becomes a sperm-producing machine, and then he dies. I think I’d rather deal with the threat of someone cheating on me than have to deal with him being attached to me 24/7. Sometimes I just need my own space, ya know? [Born Ruffians, USA Today, BBC, and Project Wildlife]