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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.]


(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]


(prɪˈkoʊ ʃəl)

active and able to move freely from birth or hatching and requiring little parental care (opposed to altricial).
[1870–75; precoci (ous) + -al1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
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
References in periodicals archive ?
2001: Adaptive precocial reproduction in voles: reproductive costs and multivoltine life-history strategies in seasonal environments.
The gestation period in agouti is about three and a half months, giving birth to two precocial young (Brown, 1936; Roth-Kolar, 1957; Nieuwendijk, 1980; Sousa et al.
Home range size is typically reduced in summer when females are brood-rearing; juveniles are precocial but remain with their hen to forage (Dickson 1992, Badyaev et al.
Species were confirmed breeding if we observed nests, dependent fledglings, precocial young, nesting material carries, food carries, fecal sac carries, copulation or distraction displays (e.
4] Sensory systems begin to develop prenatally in an overlapping manner and in some precocial animal species are structurally mature before birth.
Brood adoption and brood mixing are common among precocial and semi-precocial species and usually occur early in the development of the nestlings (Williams, 1994).
Masked Lapwings produce precocial and nidifugous chicks that remain with the adults on defended territories until fledging (Marchant and Higgins 1993; Tomas 1969).
support of feeding behavior in precocial and altricial mammals during
La caracteristica precocial de los pichones de abandonar el nido a los pocos dias de eclosionar, la asincronia en la reproduccion y el intervalo entre cada salida de campo no permitio determinar la fecha de puesta de los huevos en el nido y su respectiva fecha de eclosion.