noun phil·o·pat·ry \fə-ˈlä-pə-trē\

Definition of philopatry

  1. :  the tendency of an animal to remain in or return to the area of its birth In many species of animals, individuals directly benefit from living in groups; philopatry (i.e., staying in the natal patch) can be selected for, particularly if local habitats are worth clinging to. — Hanna Kokko and Andrés López-Sepulcre, Science, 11 Aug. 2006 Further, if the habitat is structured, say, a coral reef as opposed to the open sea, the animal will tend to occupy a home range or territory, or at least return to particular places for feeding and refuge (philopatry). — Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 1975


\ˌfi-lə-ˈpa-trik\ play adjective But there is a minority of species in which males are typically philopatric (living their lives in the group into which they were born) and the females are migratory. — Craig B. Stanford, The Hunting Apes, 1999 In some birds, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Florida scrub jay, philopatric males assist in the rearing of their parents' additional broods. — Robert E. Ricklefs and Gary L. Miller, Ecology, 2000

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First Known Use of philopatry


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capable of being understood in two ways

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