A Look Inside The Wolf Pack Dynamic

A Look Inside The Wolf Pack Dynamic

Alphas, Betas, and Omegas Explained
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Like humans, many species of animals create and uphold a form of social structures and, in a way, cultivate their own unique cultures. Arguably the most notable among these “social animals” are wolves; the wolf pack dynamics of alpha, beta, omega is something that has intrigued me for a while, and so, after cross-referencing some sites on the subject, I’ve decided to compile my findings on the basic roles wolves can occupy in a pack and spell them out here for you. Just in case you were curious.

The Alpha

As you probably already know, the alphas are the highest-ranking members of a wolf pack. A pack usually only has two alphas, one male and one female, and the most dominant of the two will act as pack leader. Alphas run the show – they decide where and what to hunt, where to set up territories, and are generally the ones that produce offspring. Although subordinate wolves can mate and have pups , they may not always have the resources and freedom to like alphas do. Alphas hold their rankings all their lives, unless they’ve been challenged and defeated by another wolf, regardless of the former’s previous social standing.

The Beta

Next up are the betas; betas act as the “second-in-command” and are always there to back their alpha up in a fight. Since they are fairly dominant, they act as the enforcers of the pack and are instrumental in hunts; they may choose to challenge an alpha for his title, choose to leave in search of another pack in order to achieve a higher rank, or decide to start a pack of their own.

The Omega

Omegas have the worst position in the pack. As the lowest-ranking members, they have to be consistently submissive to others, making them easy targets for higher-ranking members to take their aggressions out on. They’re basically the pack chew-toy. The hostility they receive may reach such an extreme point that they decide to leave the pack; becoming a “lone wolf” or seeking out another pack with the hopes that they can slip into a better role that’s higher up on the food chain. Like betas, it’s possible for them to start their own pack as well. Still, omegas have an important part to play. They’re playful nature helps break up the tension within the pack, and although the whole pack helps raise pups, the omegas are the “babysitters”

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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25 Reasons Getting a Dog in Your 20's is a Smart Idea

In honor of National Puppy Day!
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Life in your twenties is a wonderful time. You're finally free from your parents tight leash (pun intended) and starting to discover who you are. However, not every night can be a wild adventure filled with a drunken story you'll discuss 20 years later. Some nights are just meant to be spent relaxing...but instead of being alone, why not have a companion with you? A fluffy, crazy, ball of fun companion that is.

As many people know thanks to social media, today is National Puppy Day. Long story short, it's the day where Instagram junkies and take pictures of their furry friends and post them to social media. This day may only come once a year, but the love of a dog lasts a lifetime. People say having a dog in college is nuts, but honestly is it?

Meet Cooper, he's my year old Golden Retriever and honestly the biggest pain and joy in my life. A lot of people laugh at the idea of having an 83 pound dog living inside an apartment but he makes everyday so much better. So many people out there already have dogs in college and are loving it. Having a dog in college is actually one of the smarter things a college kid can do. Seriously, Here's 25 reasons why everyone in their 20's should get a dog.

1. For starters...look at that face.

(Enough said right there)

2. Who needs school? After getting the dog you learn life's biggest lesson; responsibility.

3. They sleep almost half the day so you don't have to be worried about leaving them at home. And let's be real, naps with your pup are way better than naps with anyone else.

4. They teach you how to save and budget your money (food, toys, supplies, treats). It's like Finance 302, but for dog lovers.

5.They keep you in shape since you have to walk them several times a day.

6. They are better wingmen...or women then any of your human friends.

7. They love being around other people, so a party is a fun place for them to roam.

8. Everyone loves dogs so you know they'll be welcomed almost everywhere you go.

9. They are excellent listeners. They listen to the issues everyone else is tired of hearing, and never pass judgment on your questionable moralistic debates.

10. Treats are their kryptonite. Teaching them obedience is easier than you think.

11. They are perfect drinking buddies.

12. They love the outdoors, so they great for hunting and playing Frisbee on your quad.

13. They are great to grab and hug when you get dumped. Or any other time for that matter.

14. They grow up as you do, changing as the tides in your life change.

15. Celebrating their birthday is almost as exciting as celebrating your own.

16. They get you ready for kids...which should be a long ways away. But nonetheless, you are prepared for all things menacing.

17. They're the perfect excused to get out of that awful relationship.

18.They won't complain when you want to be lazy...in fact they'll join you. Dog cuddles = the best cuddles.

19. No judgement is ever passed for the many problematic circumstances they witness, they are ALWAYS excited to see you.

20. They're perfect for asking someone a certain question.

21. Hell, if you're lucky enough, they might even be apart of the wedding.

22. They love playing with your kids.

23. They get more and more regal with age.

24. As that time begins to approach, you'll treasure every minute you have with them.

25. And when the time comes to finally say goodbye, you will realize the bond you have with something greater then yourself.

But most of all...you have gained a life long friend with millions of memories that will last for a lifetime.

So to those pet owners in college who have already began the process of that bond, congrats on making the right decision.

And to those who haven't, what are you waiting for? Go out and make a friend for life.

Happy National Puppy Day!!




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'Bird Box': Movie Vs. Book

The differences are more vast than you think.

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I read "Bird Box" about three years ago when my English teacher recommend it to me. Ever since then, it has been my favorite book. When I saw that Netflix was making it into a movie, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I watched "Bird Box" and was only slightly disappointed. There were two scenes that I absolutely needed to see but they never appeared, Malorie and Victor in the bar and actual birds raining down on Malorie and the children in the boat. Since movies and the books they are based on are always different, I decided to write about the biggest differences that I noticed. Some of which, include a lot of gore.

1. Microphones

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Tom had the idea to use microphones with an amp before he thought of the birds in a box. He actually found the birds in a box when he went on a supply run around the block they were living on. Malorie thought of his idea after the children were born and took Cheryl's car to get them. Ever since that day in the book, she had them set up so everything outside was amplified. This, of course, was when the birds were no longer there.

2. Tom

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Tom had a wife and a little girl named Robin. Robin was in eighth grade and was really smart for her age but she looked outside and Tom had found her in the bathtub with her wrists slit. He buried her in the backyard and later found George's house, which he, Don, and George resided and thought of solutions to this problem which was originally called the "Russia Report". George had the idea of looking at them indirectly which he later found out was not a solution at all. In the movie, Tom had survived with Malorie and the children but in the book, he died when all of the other housemates died. Leaving Malorie to fend for herself and the children.

3. Tom and Malorie

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The movie shows Tom and Malorie in a relationship. But the book suggests that Malorie is the only one who has feelings for Tom. She longs for him, his voice, and his presence. But Tom is more concerned with being the leader of the house, although he has a kind tone towards Malorie.

4. Gore

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The book has way more gore than the movie, which is completely understandable why it didn't make the cut. There are scenes of the housemates blindly stepping on and running over dead bodies, finding dead bodies of families, and even found someone, dead, who had scooped their eyes out into a bowl on the table. The book also tells about news reports like a pair of old-lady twins who where biting people's faces off at a hospital that were shot by the police. Plus, the death scenes in the book were different from the movie, most likely because they are impossible and needed to been more real than what they were.

5. Deaths

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Shannon: She did not flip a car with a very pregnant Malorie in the passenger seat. Her and Malorie had been living in a house with blankets over the windows and while Malorie was downstairs watching the news, she called for Shannon who did not give a response. She walked upstairs to find Shannon had stabbed herself in the chest with a pair of scissors.

George: Although George did die watching the recording of the creatures, he did not bang his head on the floor. Instead, he tore his body through the rope that tied him to the chair and the book describes it as flesh ribbons.

The Housemates: All except Malorie died when Don removed the blankets from the windows and opened the doors.

Olympia: Although she did jump out of the attic window after giving birth, in the book, she hangs herself by her umbilical cord that she chewed off.

6. Gary

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The pictures that can be seen spread across the table are actually just notes in the book. Malorie steals Gary's briefcase that he brought with him and finds it. It had his ideas written in it stating that he believed people's reactions to the creatures were psychosomatic meaning that the insanity that follows from looking at them aren't the creatures but the result of dramatic people looking at them. He doesn't believe that the creatures make people go insane, they choose to go insane. The housemates cast him out after Malorie tells them about the journal but Don sneaked him to the cellar where he lived for about seven weeks, in solitude, feeding Don his philosophies. It was Don who originally pulled the blankets down and opened the doors, not Gary. However, Gary did enable this behavior.

7. Victor

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If you've read the book, this is probably the saddest part of it all. Victor is Jules' border collie who was locked in the cellar when the blankets were torn down. He survived with Malorie and went to the bar with her to fetch the microphones as her seeing eye dog. Except he saw a creature and it was then that Malorie knew animals were not immune. She listened as he snapped at the air and chewed off his leg. She had to leave him, she didn't have a choice.

8. Jane Tucker School For the Blind

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The safe haven Malorie and the children go to in the end, is a school for the blind. However, a lot of the residents had gouged their eyes out because it was the ultimate protection. Because they do not resort to this method, Malorie stays.

9. Supply Runs

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There were two supply runs that only consisted of Tom and Jules, not everyone. They found two huskies as seeing eye dogs and the bird box on the first run and the second run is when they went to the grocery store.

10. The Man on The River

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I think the purpose of this man is simply to make Malorie uneasy. He originally had a motorized boat and tried to convince Malorie to remove her blind fold and even got really close to the boat, but Malorie rowed away then got attacked by a pack of wolves.

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