Daylight birth or daylight emergence is a form of premature birth which occurs in Stenza, causing pups to emerge from the Ice Flats early, during the daylight season. There is no one cause for this phenomenon, although it should be noted that a significant portion of daylight births are otherwise of healthy weight and as ambulatory and sensation-seeking as their later-emerging counterparts.
Any number of factors can cause a pup to emerge prematurely, from a congenital disease to remarkably quick development to appropriate size. The sheer number of pups that fall into the latter category have led some researchers to posit that resource acquisition within the Ice Flats is central to pup development, although some pups doing it more quickly than others has led to questions about the distribution of nutrients within the substance itself. (If this is true, there is no known relationship between this phenomenon and historic conflicts over breeding territory.) Pups which fall into the former category, as well as those afflicted by external deficiencies and as-yet-unknown or poorly understood phenomena which have sparked their early emergence frequently require incubation as a result.
A significant portion of pups who emerge early are remarkably underweight and incapable of supporting themselves on their own limbs due to underdeveloped bones. They also have underdeveloped teeth and tongues, and many cannot see very well.
Pups who emerge early due to illness or other factors must be placed within special pods with a blend of the Ice Flats Substance which is as balanced as it is possible to be in an effort to help them recover and develop properly. Genetic causes of early emergence are also engineered out at this time, as they frequently lead to other illnesses later in life (such as a handful of congenital lipase disorders).
Pups who emerge early at a healthy weight and with regular ambulatory behavior have always been known to survive well into a healthy adulthood. Pups who emerge early due to a medical condition have only been able to survive due to modern medicine, and in ancient times were prone to death despite adults' best efforts.
Pups born during the daylight season were once considered to have a unique connection to the gods, for good or ill; the mere fact that any pups at all emerged under the watchful eyes of Iradae and Lan'tha was considered portentous in various ways. Many tales of Lan'tha disguising herself as a pup for assorted reasons make note of the pup as a daylight birth, most likely for symbolic purposes. Additionally, the Greater Pass Stenza have sometimes held that the Snow Pups were daylight births. However none of this necessarily meant any Stenza who had emerged during the daylight season would, say, become a Religious Expert, nor are daylight births disproportionately represented in that position. The advancement of science and society has led to a shift away from this attitude, although as pups they are still properly welcomed and given any and all appropriate medical care, to the best that is possible at the time.