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 ?
As the breeding season gets under way, the pecking order among birds becomes even more pronounced as cock birds try to establish their dominance, striving to achieve a place at the top of that pecking order in order to attract a mate.
Another theory to explain the presence of debt financing in business organizations was the 'Pecking Order Theory' proposing that a firm prefers financing itself internally first, through its retained earnings.
Star Trek may have made him a celebrity in the US, but Patrick Stewart was still way down the Hollywood pecking order
Among these theories, the most heavily discussed and empirically tested theories are the trade-off theory and the pecking order theory.
The Coal Tit appears to be somewhere near the bottom of this bird feeder pecking order. One of the smaller types of tit, this nervous bird flits on to and then quickly off the feeder, staying only the briefest of moments to collect a solitary seed before flashing off to the safety of the nearby undergrowth.
He hasn't really shown the form that he's capable of so he's slipped down the pecking order a bit.
This paper extends the basic pecking order model of Shyam-Sunder and Myers by separating the effects of financing surpluses, normal deficits, and large deficits.
When asked about pecking order in the striker department Mogga said: "Marc-Antoine Fortune's at the front of the queue.
It's another example of how low racing comes in the BBC's pecking order and this is something I feel very strongly about.
The centre-half, who signed for Dundee in 2004, has fallen down the pecking order at Dens.