What Are Some Animals That Live Alone?

There are many species of animals on Earth that spend the majority of their lives alone, including species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish, insects and arachnids. Solitude is common in the animal world, and it may be only during the mating season that individual members of a species interact with each other.

Many species of predatory animals spend the majority of their lives alone. This permits the individual control of territories and food resources, especially if the environment in which those resources are found can only support small numbers of a given species.

Polar bears, for example, must travel long distances to find adequate supplies of resources such as food, water and shelter in the frozen landscape of the Arctic. Because of this, adult polar bears rarely encounter members of their species.

Some predatory fish, such as the great white shark, spend the majority of their lives alone, searching for prey over vast distances throughout the world oceans. Great white sharks encounter comparatively larger numbers of their own species only during mating season. When female great whites give birth to live young, the pups must swim away from the mother to avoid being eaten.

Males of many species of animals, both predatory and nonpredatory, have a higher incidence of solitude compared to females, who typically rear young and thus live less solitary lives. This includes the juvenile and adult males from species such as African lions, African elephants, black rhinoceroses, tigers, jaguars and cougars.