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dominance hierarchy

noun, Animal Behavior
a system or set of relationships in animal groups that is based on a hierarchical ranking, usually established and maintained by behavior in aggressive encounters: one or a few members hold the highest rank and the others are submissive to those ranking higher and dominant to those ranking lower.
Origin of dominance hierarchy
1970-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dominance hierarchy
  • After arriving at the park, a new dominance hierarchy was established.
  • They reflect one kind of dominance hierarchy, which is a general trait of organized mammalian societies.
  • In chimpanzee society, for instance, relative peace is maintained by a complex dominance hierarchy.
  • These postures help to maintain the dominance hierarchy within all deer groups.
  • Prior to each study the herd's social dominance hierarchy will be determined.
  • Condors normally feed in a group where a strict dominance hierarchy is followed.
  • In each herd the rams establish a dominance hierarchy during a rutting period that begins prior to breeding.
  • The boars use their tusks for defense and to establish a dominance hierarchy during breeding.
  • They have a serially monogamous social system with males forming a dominance hierarchy.

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