altricial

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From modern Latin Altrices (a former division of birds), plural of altrix, the feminine of altor ‘nourisher’, from alere ‘nourish’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

altricial (comparative more altricial, superlative most altricial)

  1. (zoology) Helpless at birth (of young animals); or having young which are helpless at birth.
    • 2001, Gonyou, Keeling & Keeling, Social Behaviour in Farm Animals, CABI Publishing, published 2001, page 63:
      Altricial young are typical among carnivores, which might be expected to be hampered in their hunting behaviour if the pregnant mother has to carry its young for a long period.
    • 2011, Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Penguin 2012, p. 281:
      First, humans are altricial, with immature newborns and a long childhood.

Synonyms[edit]

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