Wildlife Encounters - 9th - 12th grade
Lesson 2: Wildlife Populations
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Wildlife Babies

baby turtlesJust as they have many different strategies for survival, animals have a variety of ways they raise their offspring. Baby animals can be precocial or altricial. Precocial offspring are relatively mobile and mature immediately after birth or hatch. Many prey species like elk and antelope have precocial young that can walk and even run within moments of birth. This is a strategy to help avoid predation. Waterfowl like ducks and geese also have precocial offspring, as do most reptile species.


Other animals have altricial offspring. These young are helpless, and depend entirely on their parents for food and care. Songbirds like the American goldfinch, and top predators like the Mexican red wolf have altricial offspring.

american goldfinch
mexican red wolf

Wildlife Babies Name Game

There are different terms to describe the offspring a different species. Try to match the species with the name of its baby.

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Parenting Strategies