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



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.


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