11 Creatures Who Don't Play by the Rules

23rd March, 2024


Think monogamy is the norm in nature? Think again!


These playful mammals are known for complex social lives…and love lives.


Our closest relatives practice promiscuous mating, strengthening social bonds, not always couple bonds

Black Swans

Despite their romantic image, black swans sometimes engage in extra-pair hookups.

European Rabbits

Famous for their breeding habits, rabbits don't stick to one partner.

House Sparrows

They might form pairs, but sparrows go outside the nest for extra flings.

Topi Antelopes

Females actively seek multiple partners, a change from typical male-dominated mating.


Seahorses seem devoted, but even they sometimes stray for better genes.

Emperor Penguins

Tough conditions can tempt even emperors to cheat for reproductive success.


Some sandpipers form families, but many females lay eggs from multiple males.

Superb Fairy-wrens

These beautiful birds look sweet, but females often mate outside their bond.


Male takeovers mean new cubs; females often mate with the new leaders.

The animal kingdom is messy! Monogamy is just one strategy, not the only one.