Crazy Odd Couples In Nature – How Is This Possible?

Lions And Tigers And Bears

Iguana Cat

Iguana With Cat

What makes animals cross species lines and actually form a bond with another animal?

And why do these attractions cause so much intense curiosity?

Perhaps it’s because when two species who are normally predator and prey get together, we have every right to expect sparks to fly.

Just take a quick look below to see that this isn’t always the case.

The Odd Couple Of Animals

For as long as we’ve been studying animal behavior, the generally accepted thinking was that human beings are the only animals that are capable of complex thinking.

But the more we see odd animal pairs in nature, the more these theories are challenged.

Perhaps this sort of behavior is even more common that we realize.

But what drives two normally combative creature to show affection and even love toward one another, the way human brothers and sisters do?

Some odd animal pairs even exhibit motherly or fatherly type rearing qualities that go beyond specie lines.

First Impressions

Some scientists believe that imprinting early in the life of an animal plays a big part, and we’ve seen that animals who grow up together naturally for bonds because they don’t know anything different.

In addition, strong ties are usually formed by animals in captivity, and also more so among domestic animals.


Even in the wild, animals will often adopt the young of their own species, even if it’s outside of their own litter.

But what goes against the grain is when animals practice inter-species adoption.

Scientists now believe that the reason we see this behavior is that animals are indeed capable of empathy much the same way humans are.

Dog and deer

Other scientists dismiss this idea out of hand.

But supporters of this theory are quick to point out that mammals have the same brain structure, as it relates to emotion, as us humans do.

In the animal world it is usually survival of the fittest, but we’ve seen examples time and time again of animals putting themselves in harm’s way to save another member of their herd.

This would seem to suggest that animals are capable of exhibiting altruistic behavior, something we only ever thought human being were capable of.

Three Types Of Behavior

The three basic types of odd animal friendships include predator-prey, prey-prey, and also predator-predator.

Of these, the oddest would seem to be that of predator-prey.

It just goes against natural thinking, but scientists insist there is an explanation.

Prey species imprint from a very early age, and are subject to their surroundings.

If they attach to a predator species early enough, a bond will be formed that is as strong as though the animals were of the same species.

Imprinting is for life, nothing will change it as time goes on.


It’s also been observed in certain species that if one of the animals in a relationship dies, the other one grieves.

This behavior is seen in elephants and hippos, but has also been noticed in dogs and apes.

unusual animal friendship

Whatever the reason, nothing makes people go Awwwwww like a pair of animals that don’t seem to belong together showing signs of affection for each other.

Take one last look, and tell me this isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.