Robert Sapolsky about his study of the Keekorok baboon troop from National Geographic’s Stress: Portrait of a Killer.
Thiiiiiiis, people, thiiiis!
1. Kill alpha male types
2. Achieve world peace
^ That is a ridiculous oversimplification.
(Copy and pasted from my post here)
Alpha does not always mean aggressive.
By killing / removing the current alphas does not mean that alpha males cease to exist. This troop of baboons still had alpha males after the TB induced cull.
The term “alpha” simply means a high ranking individual (or individuals) in a social group. They have priority access to resources, like mates, nesting spots, and food.
What actually happened here was that the alphas who achieved their rank through aggression had access to the tainted meat and were therefore killed. So the males with perhaps more aggressive / agnostic personalities and behavioral patterns were unable to pass those genes onto the next generation. The remaining males - potentially previously low ranking due to lack of these aggressive behaviors - who did not have access to the tainted meat were the only ones left for breeding.
Perhaps these remaining males (and subsequent generations) did not compete for rank (re. resources) in an overtly aggressive manner. But perhaps certain ones were more adept at grooming, or creating coalitions and reciprocal relationships? Perhaps instead of breeding access being determined by males fighting for female access, it became more of a “popularity contest” where other affiliative behaviors were selected for. This would perpetuate a very peaceful atmosphere among the social group.
I can guarantee that there are still males in the group that get priority access to food, mates, and other resources. These are the alphas.
You don’t NEED to be a jerk to be an alpha, that just happens to be pop-media’s favourite (narrow minded) view.
Just some comments from your friendly neighborhood Ethologist.
The girls are back in town.
"Augustus is soooo pretentious!!!"
Ohmygod, no way?? It’s almost as if that’s exactly what John Green intended.
"Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production."