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Social Dynamics of Three Captive Wolf Packs

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This study probes the intrinsic complexities of the social organization and inter-individual relationships in three captive packs of wolves; behavior profiles of members of two of the packs had been determined earlier during infancy. The effects of removal and reintroduction of dominant and second ranking yearling wolves in two of the packs and of dominant and most subordinate wolves in a third pack were observed. A greater cohensiveness or unity in the higher ranks of the pack, based upon the "tension" effect of attraction-affection and aggression-domination is proposed. The social significance of paradoxical ambivalent aggression and the relationships between active and passive submission and play behavior are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.


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