Precocial Birds


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Precocial Birds

 

(also, nidifugous birds or praecoces), birds whose eyes and aural openings are already open at hatching or soon thereafter and whose down covering is well developed. Precocial birds are adapted to moving independently (walking or running), and thermoregulation is established early in them. Many can search for food indepenently. Precocial birds constitute one of the basic subdivisions of the bird family by virtue of their postembryonic development. The behavior of the young of precocial birds varies. In large-footed chickens, for example, the young can flutter about immediately and are completely independent of their parents at the time of hatching. The young of ducks and cranes feed independently but stay with their parents. In certain chickens, the young follow their parents, who show them food. Among the rails and sheldrakes the parents feed the young. An example of partially precocial birds is the gull. Young gulls appear with open eyes and are well feathered, but for a certain period of time they remain in the nest and the parents feed them.

G. P. DEMENT’EV

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