When is an organism considered an adult?

In some organisms, you can select “Adult” or “Juvenile” for annotations, but it isn’t very clear when a juvenile is then considered an adult; My first guess was when the organism hits sexual maturation, but would a 13/14-year-old human be considered adult? Probably not, but I guess maybe.

Sexual maturation is a good rule of thumb, and it should work for most everything except humans (I wouldn’t bother annotating human observations). A few bird species may reach sexual maturation prior to reaching their adult plumage, so in those cases, I would defer to when they reach their adult plumage. When in doubt of an edge case, best to just not annotate.

Also, shameless plug, but “juvenile” should be changed to “immature” in birds. “Juvenile” in birds refers to a specific plumage stage, while “immature” refers to any stage prior to adult plumage (including the “juvenile” stage).


See this existing topic: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/cutoff-between-juvenile-and-adult-in-annotations/45509

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And an even older thread as well:

If you’d like, we can move this question to either one of those old threads and reopen it to continue the conversation there if there are still thoughts useful to add.