Alpha male facts for kids
Some animals live in a social structure where the most powerful male in the group is decided by either fights or very aggressive battles that sometimes end in death (in the wild). The current alpha male must defend his position from younger members. When he is too old or not strong enough to win, he loses his position in the group. Sometimes, he will die or be forced to leave the group.
The result of this is that the alpha male usually has more opportunity to mate with the available females. This system developed because strong males will produce young which have a better chance for survival.
Some animal groups which may have alpha males:
Alpha male can also refer to a high-ranked man in a human group. This may be in a business setting or sometimes in other competitive areas, like sports. However, this is an extension by metaphor: humans do not have the same mating system as other social mammals.
Images for kids
Male "silverback" gorillas are usually the alpha animal and may receive preferential treatment such as being groomed by other group members
Alpha male Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.