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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just curious if anyone else has had this happen to them. I have two male rats Gibbs(the white and brown hooded rat) and Barbossa. Gibbs is much smaller than Barbossa. However, Gibbs is the alpha in the relationship while Barbossa is the omega. It just struck me odd that smaller rat can be an alpha. Anyways, I was just curious if anyone had a similar situation. :)

Vertebrate Mammal Rat Gerbil Muridae
Rat Skin Muridae Snout Whiskers
 

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The way I understand it is that alphas are based off of chiefly the personality of their subordinates. Barbossa is probably just a naturally more submissive rat. Or, possibly, Gibbs is just a natural leader. "Alpha" animals in many species aren't always necessarily the biggest, strongest, toughest... many times those who prevail in a species are smarter, more "respected", etc. There are some species who fight for dominance, of course, but I believe rats with level personalities will just follow the leader who leads them the best.

PS, Barbossa is
so
cute. I love dark colored berks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oh that makes sense :) I was just curious because Barbossa is so much bigger than Gibbs. And thank you for the compliment about Barbossa. I don't get them that many compoliments about him because apparently people think he looks too much like a "typical rat". At least that's what i've been told by others XD
 

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I have four girls and my alpha is Buffy, who is also the runt of the litter. She's a lot smaller than her sisters but she has such a huge personality and is absolutely fearless that she's the obvious alpha. Anya, who is the biggest of the sisters, did try to challenge her once for the position, but ultimately Buffy won the challenge and Anya accepted her position as second in command. It's really interesting to watch the rat hierarchy and see the interactions between the alpha, the beta, and my two omegas. Buffy is a great alpha too. She's a very loving alpha who patrols the cage after everyone has gone to sleep. She grooms everyone and mediates squabbles. Everyone looks to Buffy for guidance on how to respond to situations.

So, yeah, alphas don't have to be the biggest rat. They just have to be the one with the most leadership potential.

Edited to add: Buffy is the one in my profile picture.
 

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I was just curious if anyone else has had this happen to them. I have two male rats Gibbs(the white and brown hooded rat) and Barbossa. Gibbs is much smaller than Barbossa. However, Gibbs is the alpha in the relationship while Barbossa is the omega. It just struck me odd that smaller rat can be an alpha. Anyways, I was just curious if anyone had a similar situation. :)
Yup same here. I have two girls...which funny enough look exactly like your rats. Roxy the black one is totally pushy and dominant and way smaller than Cleo the hooded one.
 
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