Alpha Wolves

Talk about real wolves

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mike_197
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Alpha Wolves

Post by mike_197 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:56 am

So I came across a bunch of different sources saying the person who made that initial observation of the alpha wolf of a pack, they overlooked the conditions the wolves were under; the original book on wolf behavior used those observations and when the author found out he tried to get it out of print.

In reality a pack is basically just like a regular family and there is no alpha... thoughts?

http://www.sketchyscience.com/2014/08/t ... -wolf.html
http://knowledgenuts.com/2014/01/11/the ... ated-myth/
http://io9.com/why-everything-you-know- ... -502754629

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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by Cloudwilk » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:06 am

Apparently the whole alpha behavior is more common in controlled environments, like Yosemite, than actually in the wild.
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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by Lupana » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:43 pm

Yeah I heard of this too. I both like it and dislike it at the same time. I think the "alpha" ranking system give some people the wrong impression about wolves. Makes it seem like they're more villanous than they actually are. As laughable as that sounds we all know some people get fired up when mad, and sometimes they aren't the most informed or knolwedgable.

On the other hand we've known for years that wolves are very social creatures, and family oriented. So why is this such a surprise, you know?

Just my thoughts ^^
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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by mike_197 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:12 am

Yea it does make more sense than the idea that there's like this super macho wolf lording over his physically inferior pack. But that trope pops up EVERYWHERE in pop culture. I don't really get it. Especially when the dude himself tried to dispel it for years.

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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by Lupana » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:03 pm

I think what it is is, especially in pop culture like you said, we really personify the wolves and give them many human characteristics. So just as we humans need a "leader" of sorts, we tend to assume that hey, animals should too. Even though they may do just fine or have a completely different social structure. But actually, even in a normal human family, it's generally the father who is the head of the household. He usually has final say in decisions. So even if he isn't a complete controlling "alpha male," everyone in the household should respect his authority. That's kinda the way I've decided to few the ranking system, especially in my own works of fiction. The alpha wolf is usually just a family head instead of a ruthless leader who holds power over everyone.

I admit though, the cliche trope is rather fun sometimes, if not overused XD.
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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by Azura » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:08 pm

Hierarchy is a very real thing both in humans and other animals; wild horses and lions are especially big examples of it. That's why I was surprised with this news, though I see now after reading through everything that it's probably about an exaggerated alpha wolf that, like Mike said, is the "super macho wolf lording over his physically inferior pack". That I can definitely see being ridiculous, and I can't say I ever held that as a realistic view. A total absence of hierarchy in a wolf pack, though, would be very surprising to me, and I would be having serious doubts if someone told me that.
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Re: Alpha Wolves

Post by Marji4x » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:57 pm

I remember reading that wolves are usually structured in a family grouping so the alpha pair were normally everyone's parents or siblings....so it made sense they were in charge. Not sure if that's in any of those links up there already!
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