Definitions

Oviparity

Oviparity

[oh-vip-er-uhs]
Oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive method of most fish, amphibians, reptiles, all birds, the monotremes, and most insects and arachnids.

Land-dwelling animals that lay eggs, often protected by a shell, such as reptiles and insects, do so after having completed the process of internal fertilization. Water-dwelling animals, such as fish and amphibians, lay their eggs before fertilization, and the male lays its sperm on top of the newly laid eggs in a process called external fertilization.

Almost all non-oviparous fish, amphibians and reptiles are ovoviviparous, i.e. the eggs are hatched inside the mother's body (or, in case of the sea horse inside the father's). The true opposite of oviparity is placental viviparity, employed by almost all mammals (except for monotremes).

There are only two known oviparous mammals: the Spiny Anteater and the Duck-billed Platypus, both native to Australia.

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