1 (of a young bird or other animal) hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately.
Often contrasted with altricial Also called nidifugous
1.1 (of a particular species) having precocial young.

Late 19th century: from modern Latin Praecoces (the name of a former division of birds, plural of Latin praecox ‘mature before its time’) + -ial.


Benjamin enjoys closely studying animals, particularly precocial ones like turtles which fend for themselves immediately after hatching. He’s ten and his family thinks him precocious.



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