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Hatched or born with the eyes open, a covering of down or hair, and the ability to search for food. Used of birds and mammals.
[From New Latin praecocēs, precocial birds, from pl. of Latin praecox, premature; see precocious.]
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) covered with down, having open eyes, and capable of leaving the nest within a few days of hatching
(Zoology) a precocial bird
[C19: see precocious]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
active and able to move freely from birth or hatching and requiring little parental care (opposed to altricial).
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Adj.||1.||precocial - (of hatchlings) covered with down and having eyes open; capable of leaving the nest within a few days|
altricial - (of hatchlings) naked and blind and dependent on parents for food
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