Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Discuss wolves (news, sightings, etc.).

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Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by WQ Project Coordinator » Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:20 pm

Here is the topic to discuss it.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Ninebirds » Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:43 pm

Very interesting. Thank you so much for posting that. :) I'm glad WolfQuest will be using up-to-date terminology and such in the game. I hadn't known until coming here that those terms weren't used so much anymore. Color me educated. ;)
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Silver » Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:58 pm

Ninebirds wrote:Very interesting. Thank you so much for posting that. :) I'm glad WolfQuest will be using up-to-date terminology and such in the game. I hadn't known until coming here that those terms weren't used so much anymore. Color me educated. ;)
D: educated isn't in my crwayon box!

But yeah I didn't know those terms weren't used anymore interesting read.

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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Ninebirds » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:10 pm

Silver wrote:D: educated isn't in my crwayon box!
That's OK. Pink works too! :lol:

I actually read all of Dr. Mech's article on the alpha status and pack hierarchy and thought it was very interesting. :D Has he done any other articles or discussions on wolves that are posted online somewhere? If so, I'd love to read what he's written. :)
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Silverstar » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:28 pm

I still think it's silly that they should stop referring to them as the Alphas. I know it makes sense to call them the 'breeding pair' and whatnot, but they're still the leaders are they not? If they are still the more important, still the first to eat, still the ones to take care and protect the pack are they still not considered first? A-lpha is the first letter of an alphabet, I'm assuming it was related to the 'lead' because of that.
My point being, the 'Breeding Male' is still the only male that's breeding. Still the strongest and best fit for giving pups a good genetic base. Even if it's just a wolf who wandered from it's home to find a mate and start a pack of it's own. Once those pups grow up, if some stay behind do they not still defer to the lead wolf who was their father?
If it's true that the lead female is the one who decides what prey to go after and directs the pack in how to take the prey down, does that not make her a leader? If she protects her young from others, if she makes sure she's the only female in the pack to breed come the season, does that not make her higher?

I think the terminology can still exist there. A-lpha does not mean 'strict hierarchy' it just implies that that wolf is first. I'd have no problem if someone labeled my parents as the A-lphas of the house. They're the ones in charge, and if guests come in, my parents are still the ones who are obeyed because it's their house. It's not saying that they force themselves over us, but they still are the A-lphas because I defer to their rules. It's their house, like a wolf's territory. Me being a child of them, defers to them and follows their rules. If there were others living here, or some guests, my parents would still be the ones who's rules were followed. So even with a bunch of strangers they'd be considered the leaders and so someone could describe them as the A-lphas.

My explanation kinda sucked there. I totally get where the point is coming from, but I just see the term differently I guess.

[edited because the forum changing A-lpha to pack ruler made the post make little sense.]
Last edited by Silverstar on Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Eclipse » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:53 pm

So there won't be anymore ranking in a pack I ghess, there will just be a pack leader and the pack members. Well I ghess thats ok, but I'll still confused about why they are useing it now?
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by WQ Project Coordinator » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:45 am

Here is a link to more articles by L. David Mech

http://library.npwrc.cr.usgs.gov/starwe ... =staffpubs

Some of them are not free, but there are quite a few that are.
Enjoy.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Ninebirds » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:27 am

Oh, great! Thank you. :)
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Eclipse » Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:00 am

So now there not going to be pack ranks in a wolf pack anymore? Ok, whatever, but I ghess a wolf family it's that bad.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Thierry » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:07 am

I am very glad to find through your work the will to be in conformity with biological reality.

In fact, it's not so much the names that are important, but the social model of behavior, incorporating learning, emotion, perception and development that you will use.

You discussed it already on your blog, but all the difficulty of WolfQuest (and its interest) are to find a balance between the gameplay and this zoological reality.

I had the chance of met Dr. Mech and Ray Coppinger (THE dog expert), in February 2006 during a congress in Lyon (France). This work and articles are an international reference and its last book with Luigi Boitani (an Italian expert) a true bible for those which are interested in wolf :

Wolves : Behavior, Ecology and Conservation - Mech, L. David and Luigi Boitani, 472 p., 32 color plates, 13 halftones, 63 line drawings, 73 tables. 2003 - University of Chicago - Press (new edition in 2007)

With google book, you can find some abstract here :wink: :
http://books.google.com/books?id=_mXHuSSbiGgC (sorry, the url don't work here)

An other good référence from Dave is this article : L.D. Mech ,1999, Alpha status, Dominance, Leadership, and Division of Labor in wolf packs, Canadian Journal of Zoology 77 (8) : 1196-1203
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PS : excuse my poor english, I'm french. ;-)

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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Thierry » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:26 am

An other very good paper from Sophie Gonneau about "Importance of the social factor in the individual behaviors of the gray wolves in pack"

Sorry, it's in french, but try the google translation
http://www.loup.org/spip/L-importance-d ... l,501.html
Thierry from www.loup.org
PS : excuse my poor english, I'm french. ;-)

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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Kaheaniehal » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:00 pm

Eclipse wrote:So now there not going to be pack ranks in a wolf pack anymore? Ok, whatever, but I ghess a wolf family it's that bad.
There are still ranks within the pack besides the "leader". There is the second in comand(Sometimes known as the B-eta), who the lead female will breed with.
So actually this ranking system is inacurrate. From my understanding the 'lead' male is not always the one to breed with the 'lead' female... HA!

Also there is the lowest member of the pack(the O-mega). From what I remember there are debates on if this wolf is really the lowest.. I personally think so- my dogs have that behavior amongst eachother and around me... So yeah.
The big debate is that the jestures of the pack are sometimes reserved the best kinds of meat... My idea is so that they won't leave the pack for being picked on- or to help so that their scent may seem strange for a wolf at such low rank. After all, during chorus howls they change their tune frequently to help the other members blend in.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by Okami za » Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:53 pm

I have mixed feelings on the changes in how the ranks are referred to now. I RP a lot and now I'll just have to take into accord the changes and stuff. But anyhow I think that The Alpha can still be used. Breeding pair, to me, just sounds strange, asides the fact that alpha is shorter and sweeter. But who knows. I, too, have dogs and since they don't breed, on account of being fixed, I do see ranks and the occasional tussle for higher status. I'm not too sure who is on top as it changes so much but I do know there is one who is higher than the other. Point is, I still think that Alpha should still be applied.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by pawnee » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:57 pm

an "alpha wolf" or leader (s) doesn`t have to be the most dominat, nor the one who leads a hunt. At the Haliburton Wolf Centre, the alpha male Ebony was a very passive alpha and only exercised his dominace during the mating season. Each wolf has its own personality, you can`t just say one wolf does so all wolves do the exact same. Some wolves are forcefull and violent leaders, like Wolf 41 of the Druids Peak pack in northern yellowstone, while others are calm and beneviolent. I think you should still keep the terms and structure of alpha for the game, it would make game playing a lot easier. A wolf pack seems to be more than a group of indivduals who get together just to eat, it seems to be something much more. usually the alphas are also the parents of the puppies and other pack members, unless they step down or are overthrown. I guess it seems unfair to apply a human perspective of a politcal leader onto a wolf, as animals many of time don`t follow the same rules as people do.
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Re: Discuss Wolf Pack Heirarchy

Post by ChocolateRain » Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:23 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but i'm pretty sure there weren't supposed to be ranks in multiplayer to begin with.

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