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Mike The Alpha Male

If two cans caused the big dominant males to run off the path in front of him, Mike reasoned that three cans would surely make an even greater impression on them.

Mike began to incorporate a third can in his "gasoline can dribbling" display for dominance. Large high-ranking males fled up the tree trunks when Mike began his descent down the forest path slapping, kicking, and smacking three cans in front of him! The other chimpanzees had never seen or heard anything like it. It was as if the worst thunderstorm had erupted and Mike was directing it toward them. They shrieked and tried desperately to get away from him and the terrible rattling and banging noise the cans made as they flew down the hill in their direction. Not wanting to fight with the unknown, the males of Mike's community acquiesced. Mike became the first alpha male ever to employ his brain rather than his brawn to govern his community. One year after Mike began his unusual display, he attained the position of alpha male.

Mike reigned as alpha male over 14 adult males and vigorously maintained his rank against their challenges. Eventually, an aggressive adult male, Humphrey challenged Mike and in one decisive fight, Mike was deposed. However, Mike will always be remembered for his intelligent use of tools to frighten his community members to get to the "top".


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Chimpanzee Social Groups
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Chimpanzees Living in Zoos
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Infancy and Childhood
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Chimpanzee Adolescence and Gender Specific Roles
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Mothering and Play
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Play
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Dominance Displays
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Submission
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Territorial Behavior
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Chimpanzees Are a Lot Like Us
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Communication
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Chimpanzees Are Individuals
19.
Mike's Ingenious Idea
20.
Mike (1938-1975)
21.
Mike the Alpha Male
22.
The Human Threat to Wild Chimpanzees
23.
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
24.
The Jane Goodall Institute
25. Books by Jane Goodall
26. Bibliography

 

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