One species of animal that has an interesting and unique social structure are elephants. They tend to form groups or family units of 6-12 animals reaching up to twenty, depending on food availability. An elephant family unit is ruled by a matriarch, the oldest female. When the matriarch dies, one of the oldest offspring will take her place. Elephants have also been known to mourn their dead.
There are many types of ants that form close bonds with the trees they live in. One such case is the Acadia tree, which grows with little tunnels in it so that it is easy for the ants to live there, and produce a special type of dew that is perfect for the ants. In payment for this, the ants are fiercely loyal to their home tree. They will protect them against anything that comes in contact with the plant.
One excellent example of social structures in the Animal Kingdom is a wolf pack. Wolf packs have an Alpha male and an Alpha female. This pair has the greatest amount of social freedom and generally act as surrogate leaders of the group. There’s also a Beta male and or Beta female. These wolves act as the “second-in-command.” Additionally, one wolf assumes the “Omega” position of the pack and acts as the pack “scape-goat”, absorbing the greatest amount of pack aggression.
If you think about it, there’s generally an Alpha (leader-type) and a Beta (second-in-command) in most groups of friends.
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