Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Newly-fledged young of altricial birds are normally not fully developed at the time of fledging and are dependent on parental food deliveries as they learn to fly, forage for themselves, and to detect and evade predators.
1996), and even human beings (Lummaa & Clutton-Brock 2002), are generally altricial requiring more parental care before they can move around alone.
In mammals that bear precocial young like agouti (Smythe, 1978), maintaining maternal contact to learn foraging patterns may be more important than the energy demands and nutritional constraints during lactation (Pond, 1977), suggesting that lactation and suckling may not play important roles when compared to altricial animals.
Nest predation as a selective factor in the evolution of developmental rates in altricial birds.
Fish larvae that are altricial have scarce reserves of yolk and do not have a fully formed and functional digestive system when exogenous feeding is initiated.
Newborn cubs are altricial, weigh only 0.6 kg, are blind, lack significant fur (Blix and Lentfer, 1979), and must undergo substantial development before they emerge from the den and travel to the sea ice (Ramsay and Dunbrack, 1986).
Sucede que el perro es una especie altricial (aquella cuyas crias nacen inmaduras, no pueden ver ni oir, tampoco controlar su temperatura corporal), por lo que, hasta que son independientes y pueden comer por sus propios medios, dependeran de cualquier adulto, se apegan a cualquier cosa que les brinde comida, refugio y proteccion (otros perros, otras especies como el gato o el ser humano).
Altricial larvae present little yolk reserve and do not have a functional digestive system fully developed at the onset of exogenous feeding, making them dependent on the live food in their initial feeding (Kolkovski, 2001).
Larvae of this species are altricial, requiring one or both parents (biparental brood care) to feed them for the extent of their immature life stages.
One extreme is altricial species which are naked, blind, and virtually immobile when they hatch, and thus are completely dependent on their parents.
So that low growth and high mortality rates may be avoided, it is important to meet the nutritional requirements of fish larvae, particularly altricial larvae, characterized by an undifferentiated digestive system and by dependence on live feed at the start of exogenous feeding to assist in the digestion process (Micale, Garaffo, Genovese, Spedicato, & Muglia, 2006).