Old studies of captive wolves gave researchers the idea that wolf packs are led by a dictator—an alpha wolf. However, more recent studies show that there is no such thing as an alpha wolf in the wild.


This article by Stephanie Pappas, writing for Scientific American, makes the following points:
  • Unrelated, adult wolves in captivity behave differently, similar to what happens in a human prison.
  • Researchers found that in the wild, packs are usually led by a breeding pair, and duels for supremacy are rare.
  • With the new research, wildlife experts have stopped using the term' alpha wolf'.


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