Wolves fighting for dominance as a “thing” came from observation of captive packs. Observation of genuinely wild packs has revealed that it is not, in fact, a “thing.”
Y’hear that, ya dumbass modern werewolf writers?
hear that, self-styled “alpha males”?
They weren’t even captive packs, they were a bunch of unrelated wolves shoved together in too-small a space.
So if you’re an ‘alpha wolf’ then you are, in point of fact, not the noble, fierce and imposing leader of a group who respects you, but a scared wild creature with no social support frantically lashing out at strangers to try and gain some semblance of control over a fundamentally uncontrollable environment?
That would explain a few things.
The original use of the term “alpha male” refers to the most respected member of a social animal’s community. Generally that’s the oldest male, who is often the father of the rest of the pack, or at least related to most of them.
All it means is that the wolf is old and respected by the rest of the pack. It means he’s been a father, and taken care of his pack.
It has ZERO to do with dominance. They’re wolves, not Klingons. They don’t go around killing their parents for dominance.
In fact, one of the only mammalian species that actually kills members of its own species is, you guessed it, humans.
Want to emulate an alpha male? Don’t act anything like what people who talk about “alpha males” say.
I am now sitting at my desk giggling at ‘They’re wolves, not Klingons’.
I guess ‘killing members of your own species’ refers to adults killing adults, rather than, say, lions taking over a pride killing existing male cubs or gerbils eating their babies or whatever.
After all, adults can run away.