Helpless at birth (of young animals); or having young which are helpless at birth.
After all, we are big-brained altricial mammals, born helpless and requiring extensive adult care, who learn a variety of skills through different sorts of play.
Like its opposite, the altricial strategy employed by creatures such as humans and songbirds, who are born naked and helpless, the precocial strategy was sculpted by eons of adaptation to food and predators.
Consequently, gauging the amount of external care she can receive from her kin and society is at large is very consequent to her parenting decisions, as altricial helpless infants of Homo sapiens are significantly taxing to raise.
With the altricial birds the young are hatched in an absolutely helpless condition, being both blind and naked, and it is necessary that they be fed by the parents, not only while occupying the nest, but also for several weeks afterward.
There is debate among paleoanthropologists over when hominids evolved to become extremely altricial, but these estimates generally range from about 500,000 to 200,000 years ago.
Elephant-shrews are altricial animals, meaning that the young require nourishment for a time after birth.
The word 'altricial' comes from modern Latin 'Altrices' (a former division of birds), plural of 'altrix', the feminine of 'altor' ‘nourisher’, from 'alere' ‘nourish’.