The terminology for describing the dominant grey wolf as the "alpha", and the subordinates as "beta" and "omega" was first used in 1947 by Rudolf Schenkel of the University of Basel, who based his findings on researching the behaviour of captive grey wolves.
Werewolf packs are werewolves that congregate in groups. In studies of social behavior, the highest ranking individual is sometimes designated as the "alpha". Males, females, or both, can be alphas, depending on the species. Members of the same social group may exhibit subordinate behaviors towards the alpha. In a hierarchical community, assigned ranks are used in ethology studies, sometimes described as "betas" and "omegas".
- Main: Werewolf (species)
The Alpha is patient zero, the master Werewolf, or the dominant one in a pack. This type is not usually bit by another. It may be born this way, or might be cursed by some magical rite. Some, however, do not consider this type to be a curse.
In the movie American Werewolf in Paris, a Beta could free themselves from their curse by eating the heart of the Alpha that had cursed them.
A Beta werewolf or a human is turned by an Alpha. Betas often act as second-in-command to the reigning alpha, and will act as a new alpha if the original dies. In some legends, Betas have no free will and are 'spiritually' bound in servitude to the Alpha. The curse of the Alpha is said to be cured by an exorcism, or by killing the Alpha.
Omegas are betas that are kicked out or leaves on its on accord, it differs by a rogue, because it is not wanted between packs. Omegas have a higher survival rate without a pack, many say that it is in the lower part of the ranks, but no, it is just a myth because omegas don't even belong in a pack, unless they found a mate.
- "Schenkel’s Classic Wolf Behavior Study Available in English". http://www.davemech.org/schenkel/. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
- Wikipedia, Alpha (ethology)