Do Rats Have A Social Life?Rats are indeed social creatures. They operate within social systems, which are necessary to establish order. Male alpha rats are the leaders, and lower-ranking beta, gamma and zeta rats make up the rest of the social group. So how do rat social hierarchies function?
- Alphas: Being the alpha rat is all about attitude. Alphas are not always the largest rat in the colony. It is how they control the group that matters. Alphas maintain order by stopping aggression within a colony.
- Betas: These are the colony peacekeepers. Betas are dominant over all of the members of their colony except the alpha. Typically, there are between one to four betas per colony, and their primary role is to maintain harmony.
- Gammas: Gammas are your average Joes. They do not assert any dominant tendencies. Instead, they get along with the gang and stay focused on their particular roles.
- Zetas: A zeta rat occupies the lowest tier of the social structure. In healthy colonies, they pal around with the gammas and keep their distance from the alpha and betas. If a colony is unhealthy, zetas are at best the social outcasts and at worst a target of other members.