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dominance hierarchy

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noun Animal Behavior.
a system or set of relationships in animal groups that is based on a hierarchical ranking, usually established and maintained by behavior in aggressive encounters: one or a few members hold the highest rank and the others are submissive to those ranking higher and dominant to those ranking lower.
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Origin of dominance hierarchy

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

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