Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Word of the Day 6/2/2010

Nidifugous (adjective): leaving the nest soon after hatching

Example Sentence: "Little is known about the mortality of nidifugous shorebird chicks."

Did you know?: "Nidifugous" hatched from the Latin words "nidus," meaning "nest," and "fugere," meaning "to flee." Its contrasting word "nidicolous," meaning "reared for a time in a nest," combines "nidus" with the English combining form "-colous" ("living or growing in or on"). Another relevant term is "precocial." A precocial bird is capable of a high degree of independent activity as soon as it emerges from the egg. While all nidifugous birds are also necessarily precocial, some nidicolous birds are also precocial -- that is, they are capable of leaving the nest soon after hatching, but instead they stick around. Other nidicolous birds are "altricial," which is to say they are hatched in a very immature and helpless condition and require care for some time.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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