Until Death Do Us Part*
by Kate Reid
April 29, 2019 / Engagement and Weddings
Here at Larsen Jewellery, we have the pleasure of meeting so many couples at the happiest time of their lives. Every couple is unique and we are lucky to get to know each and every one of them. Click here to read some of their beautiful love stories.
Maybe we have had a bit too much coffee today but we have found ourselves wondering how different couples might be in the animal kingdom. We humans are intent on finding that one true love that lasts forever, til-death-do-us-part, you know how it goes. So here we are, all wanting to know the secret for a long and lasting relationship, is it trust, friendship, loyalty, passion? All of the above??? Maybe it’s destiny or just sheer luck. I’m not entirely sure, to be honest, so let’s take a look at our furred and feathered friends for a few hints and tips on how to find your perfect mate, but most importantly, hold onto them!
Beaver’s are devoted parents. I had imagined daddy beaver going off every day to build the dam while mummy beaver stays at home to raise the kits…turns out this isn’t the case at all. Not only are beavers loyal and faithful to their mates, but both mum and dad play an equal and important role in raising the kits. Once their kits reach about 2 years old, they go off to find true love of their own and the beautiful cycle of monogamous beaver love continues.
Gibbons are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life, but they are also “swingers” and I don’t just mean swinging from branches! For a long time, we believed gibbons to be fully monogamous, but recent studies have shown that gibbon love is a bit more complex. Gibbons are socially monogamous but reproductively, let’s just say, they like to experiment! In other words, a gibbon and its mate will stay together at home and defend their territory as a team, but when it comes to sex, they like to go elsewhere. Every night partners return to each other with a mutual understanding, and I suppose that’s all that matters, right?
When we think of the term “alpha male” we imagine the dominant male in charge of the entire pack, but in reality, wolf packs are ruled equally by the alpha male and his alpha female, always by his side. They share dominance most of the time, but during mating season, the ladies rule. Little pups need to be taken care of and everyone knows that mums know best. Wolves know when to give and take dominance, the sign of a strong bond between life partners – maybe they’re setting a good example for us humans too.
French angelfish truly are the perfect pair, they could probably put most human couples to shame. When they find their one true love these fish swim side by side for more than half of their time, bound for life until one of them dies… that’s some serious quality time, although some might say a little clingy! When angelfish have been separated from their partners for a period of time they come together in a ritual called “carouseling” in which they circle around each other vigorously to greet their beloved….how sweet! I can’t remember the last time I was that excited to see my partner, but let’s keep that between us!
These blue-tongued lizards from western and southern Australia are as slow-moving in their relationships as they are on the ground. Once a male sees a female that he likes, he will follow her continuously, gently nudging and licking her for months until the pair finally cement their relationship…. if you know what I mean! Once they enter into a committed partnership they are in it for the long haul. The couple will seek each other out every breeding season and will stay together for 20 years or more until one of them dies. When this happens, the surviving partner will remain by its mate’s dead body for days, gently nudging it – perhaps trying to revive it or simply mourning their loss.
Swans are the ultimate symbol of romance in the animal kingdom, it must be the way they gracefully hold their heads creating that iconic heart shape, that gets us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I mean who hasn’t received a valentines card at one time or another with a picture-perfect pair of swans on the front page, the ultimate symbol of love…..sweet right? Well, maybe not always! Turns out even though swans are famously monogamous, they are also known to get “divorced” – if a couple finds that they are no longer able to breed with each other, they will agree to go their separate ways in search of a new partner. It’s not an emotional decision, purely practical, and couples are known to remain living close to one another, even with their new partners….very mature!
Remember that sweet-hearted guy or gal you once dated who said they really liked you but just wanted to take it slow and treat you right? Well, that’s the Albatross. They display unique patience and persistence when it comes to romance. Young albatrosses learn from older birds how to woo their mates using an elaborate system of preening, pointing, rattling, bowing and other sweet moves. Once they have mastered their wooing techniques, albatrosses may “dance” with many partners before they find the right one – but once they select that perfect mate they’re sweet-hearts for life.
I always imagined penguins to be faithful and devoted, waddling around flipper-in-flipper until they are old and grey…..how cute! Well turns out, this isn’t the whole truth and in reality, penguins are only serially monogamous, in other words, pairs only stay together for one breeding season at a time. To be honest, I was a bit sad to find this out but I also learned there are exceptions to the rule, and some penguin couples have been known to seek each other out again and again for many seasons, even up to 16 years….now that’s true love!
Have you ever met that loud obnoxious guy, he was probably trying to chat you up in that trendy bar last weekend? Well, that’s the barn owl… Their mating rituals can be a little aggressive, once a male barn own initiates courtship, he flies around on display, yelling and whistling. Then he hovers around his chosen female until it’s time to mate, oh how romantic…..not! Maybe a little pushy for most but at least once they hook up, they never cheat and remain faithful for life.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder – well, I think this might just be the secret to the bald eagles’ harmonious relationships. Once they have found their perfect partner they are together for life, but every year bald eagles spend the migration period alone and only come together when mating season rolls around, long periods of time in isolation followed by gloriously ecstatic reunions – could this well be the secret to a long and fulfilling relationship…maybe it’s worth a shot?
So, before you give up on the idea of love, remember that there are several species of animals that really are lifelong mates – and hopefully you won’t have to marry a wolf to find The One!