Alpha male

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An alpha male is the top-ranking animal in a social group.

Origin[change | change source]

Some animals live in a social structure where the most powerful male in the group is decided by either fights or even very aggressive battles sometimes ending in death (in the wild). The current alpha male must defend his ranking from younger members. When he is too old or not strong enough to win, he loses his position in the group fighting to the death or running out.

The result of this is that the alpha male usually has more opportunity to mate with the available females. This system developed because strong males will produce young which have a better chance for survival.

Examples[change | change source]

Some animal groups which may have alpha males:

Human examples[change | change source]

Alpha male can also refer to an aggressive, highly-ranked man in a human group – usually in a business setting.