The Blueprint: Do animals go through break-ups? What the science reveals

We speak to world experts about if – and why – animals break up.
Alice Cooke
Animal break-ups.
Animal break-ups. It's a thing.

Interesting Engineering.

  • Scientists found animals form persistent, cooperative relationships
  • They also go their separate ways, just as humans do
  • Causes include low reproductive success rates, infidelity, and genetic or behavioral compatibility

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Only around three to ten percent of mammals have monogamous relationships, according to The National Science Foundation. But do they consider it cheating in the way that humans do? Does it upset them, cause a rift, or even a break-up? Do animals break up in the same way that we do? Do they consider it breaking up at all?

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