No. Two Over Three -- A Dominance Interaction

No. Two Over Three -- A Dominance Interaction
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    February 5, 2003

    IT was breeding season watch 2003. I set up my big 500mm lens with two tele-extenders which gave me 2,000mm of power to work with. Because Marion, the alpha female, was so 'frustrating' and constantly agitated Seneca, the alpha male, staff avoided going into their enclosure at this time of year.

    The social situation left me with improvising with long optics shooting over the fences or through the observation room windows. This works fairly well, but the images are a bit soft with two tele-extenders so an image like this is not recommended past 8x10 print size.

    Needless to say, this image is quite interesting and well worth posting. Chetan is the third ranking male, Tristan is number 2, or the 'beta male'. What is interesting is Chetan is submitting, but not entirely submissive. He is in a classic passive submissive pose including his tucked tail, but his head is up and his ears are pricked forward. Meanwhile, Tristan has his ears back a bit, is averting gaze with Chetan and is even flicking his tongue. All these behaviors indicate Tristan is not entire secure in his position over Chetan and I think Chetan 'knows' it. .

    Location : Wolf Park
    Format : Digital
    Camera : Canon EOS 1Ds

    gray wolf dominance passive submission interaction behavior tongue flick T-4 tail tucked