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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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