adjective Etymology: New Latin praecoces precocial birds, from Latin, plural of praecoc-, precox Date: circa 1872 capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth <
ducklings are precocial
— compare altricial

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • precocial — [prē kō′shəl] adj. [< ModL praecoces (< L, pl. of praecox: see PRECOCIOUS), precocial birds + AL] designating or of birds whose newly hatched young are covered with down and fully active: opposed to ALTRICIAL …   English World dictionary

  • Precocial — In Biology, the term precocial refers to species in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. The opposite developmental strategy is called altricial , where the young are born helpless. Extremely… …   Wikipedia

  • precocial — US var. of PRAECOCIAL. * * * precocial, a. Now the usual spelling of præcocial a …   Useful english dictionary

  • precocial — 1) young showing independent activity from birth. Opposite of altricial 2) a fish that has matured quickly, or faster than the remaining fish of its age class. Usually exhibited by male fish …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • precocial — /pri koh sheuhl/, adj. Biol. (of an animal species) active and able to move freely from birth or hatching and requiring little parental care (opposed to altricial). [1870 75; PRECOCI(OUS) + AL1] * * * …   Universalium

  • precocial — adjective hatched from the egg already covered in down and with eyes open; capable of leaving the nest within a few days …   Wiktionary

  • precocial — prɪ kəʊʃl adj. (about animals) requiring little parental care, able to move about and function almost entirely independently upon birth (Zoology) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • precocial — [prɪ kəʊʃ(ə)l] adjective Zoology relating to or denoting a bird or other animal species whose young are hatched or born in an advanced state and are able to feed themselves almost immediately. Often contrasted with altricial. Origin C19: from mod …   English new terms dictionary

  • precocial — pre·co·cial …   English syllables

  • precocial — pre•co•cial [[t]prɪˈkoʊ ʃəl[/t]] adj. dvl active and able to move freely from birth or hatching and requiring little parental care (opposed to altricial). • Etymology: 1870–75; precoci ( ous) + al I …   From formal English to slang

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