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Related to altricial: precocial


Hatched or born with the eyes closed and with little or no down or hair, and requiring parental care. Used of birds and mammals.

[From Latin altrīx, altrīc-, feminine of altor, nourisher, from alere, to nourish; see al- in Indo-European roots.]


(Zoology) (of the young of some species of birds after hatching) naked, blind, and dependent on the parents for food
(Animals) an altricial bird, such as a pigeon
[C19: from New Latin altriciālis, from Latin altrix a nurse, from alere to nourish]


(ælˈtrɪʃ əl)

(of an animal species) helpless at birth or hatching and requiring parental care for a period of time (opposed to precocial).
[1870–75; < Latin altrīc-, s. of altrīx wet nurse, nourisher = (al(ere) to nourish (compare aliment) + -trīx -trix) + -al1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.altricial - (of hatchlings) naked and blind and dependent on parents for foodaltricial - (of hatchlings) naked and blind and dependent on parents for food
precocial - (of hatchlings) covered with down and having eyes open; capable of leaving the nest within a few days
References in periodicals archive ?
observe that "[w]omen seem specifically to avoid taking resources that increase altricial health risks to their young.
The skull was more completely ossified, to include the tightly articulated skull roof complex, although dental development was comparable to the more altricial specimens of the first litter.
The sense that each one had of being two has given way to the knowledge that each is half of the whole limb-tangle looking like a huge altricial hatchling occupying much of the bed.
Fledglings of altricial species begin to make independent decisions of movement and need to select habitat that minimizes risk of predation and optimizes thermoregulation.
Food and water interrelations and the protein requirement for growth of an altricial bird, the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus).
The model of human nature that emerges from human life history has numerous distinctive features: altricial birth, extended childhood, male-female bonding coupled with male coalitions (Flinn, Geary, and Ward), dual parenting, post-menopausal survival, longevity, the development of skills for the extraction of high-quality resources (Kaplan et al.
The compromise made by evolution was for humans to deliver their young in a relatively altricial (undeveloped) state.
We considered nests of altricial species to be successful if [greater than or equal to]1 young fledged, whereas nests of precocial species were considered successful when [greater than or equal to]1 egg hatched.
1) Cuckoos are altricial, and nestling and fledgling cuckoos are identified based on their zygodactyl feet.
Food provisioning in relation to reproductive strategy in altricial birds: a comparison of two hypotheses.