Female tortoises dig a hole in the ground to lay their eggs, then rarely return. The tiny hatchlings are on their own from birth. They must dodge predators and hunt. Under 2% reach sexual maturity. 

Desert Tortoise

Most seals live in colonies, but the Hawaiian monk seal is solitary. The Hawaiian seal is endangered. 632 adults remain in the wild. When mating and raising their young, Hawaiian monk seals lie in small groups.

Hawaiian Monk Seal

The chuckwalla lizard has a potbelly and loose skin folds on its body and neck. The lizard spends its days alone, basking in the sun before hunting. It perches high to survey its territory.

Chuckwalla Lizard

Polar Bear

Although young polar bears enjoy to play together, adults prefer to remain alone unless during mating season and when rearing babies. 

A moose can stand six feet tall and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Unlike other deer species, moose are solitary. Calves stay with their mothers for about a year, then leave. During breeding season, males (called bulls) battle over a mate, but they are solitary otherwise.


The platypus, an Australian native, grudgingly shares water with other animals, but only during mating season. When naturalist George Shaw described the platypus in his 1799 book, "The Naturalist's Miscellany," readers couldn't believe it existed.


 These gorgeous cats watch for prey from rocky outcrops and cliffs. They work sunrise and dusk. Snow leopards mate and rear their young alone. Snow leopards avoid other felines. 

Snow Leopard

Sandpipers travel alone, unlike most shorebirds. This North American shorebird migrates alone and prefers shaded streams and ponds. The solitary sandpiper nests in tree songbird nests, unlike other sandpipers. 

Solitary Sandpiper

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