Alpha Female

An alpha female is the highest-ranking female in the pack's social hierarchy.

Wolves maintain a dominance rank order within each pack. Generally, a separate rank order exists for males and females.  The highest-ranking animal of each sex is known as the alpha male or female.  Although the greek alphabet is used officially by scientists to denote each animal's rank, below the beta rank numbers are often used instead. The lowest-ranking one is almost always called the omega male or female, regardless of the number of wolves in the pack.

Having a strict dominance hierarchy, and reinforcing it often through postural displays and ritualized aggression, enables the pack to function as a cohesive unit, which is necessary if they are to obtain enough food for their survival.


Return to main page