- (of an animal species) active and able to move freely from birth or hatching and requiring little parental care (opposed to altricial).
Origin of precocial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for precocial
Historical Examples of precocial
They were exceedingly active, a good example of precocial young.Life Histories of North American Shore Birds, Part 1 (of 2)
Arthur Cleveland Bent
- (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
- a precocial bird
Word Origin for precocial
C19: see precocious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Born or hatched in a condition requiring relatively little parental care, as by having hair or feathers, open eyes, and the ability to move about. Water birds, reptiles, and herd animals usually have precocial young. Compare altricial.
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