pecking order


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peck·ing or·der

in some species of birds and primates, the establishment of a graded dominance in members of a group by the use of aggression.

pecking order

the gradation of behavioural dominance between individuals in active groups of mammals and birds. The leader is dominant, and thus at the top of the ‘pecking order’ getting the best food and mates, the least dominant animal being at the bottom of the order. Birds often show bald patches where they have been pecked by dominant individuals.
References in periodicals archive ?
A major twist in testing the pecking order theory came with the study by Shyam-Sunder and Myers (1999).
He is down the pecking order here, but he has worked very hard all season.
The classy Antipodean has rocketed 35 places up in the global pecking order in four months.
But Dickson understood the pecking order and that the team always comes first.
Snooker: Mark Williams, intent on reversing an alarming slide down snooker's pecking order, last night reached his first world ranking event quarter-final for 11 months.
After moving from Old Trafford last Summer, Butt (above) has disappointed at Newcastle and was pushed further down the pecking order after the arrival of Emre and Scott Parker.
RB says: Not sure a place in the UEFA Cup would put them close to Arsenal in North London's pecking order but there you go.
The 32-year- old has yet to speak to new Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho about a new deal or his long-term future but he is expected to fall further down their pecking order.
CLIMATE CONTROL's distinctive colouring has brought a query, as to the standing of blues in the coat-colour pecking order.
In the bass pecking order, stripers probably rank below the popular largemouth species, but striped-bass fishing is among the most popular activities in California.
Tweed was transfer-listed by Dundee boss Ivano Bonetti after dropping down the defensive pecking order.
Glander observed that most female howlers at the top or bottom of the colony's pecking order produced all male offspring.