1 December 2023

Oviparous animals represent a large percentage of creatures existing in the fauna of the Earth, because within it we find different species of birds, fish and insects.

In this article we will explore what what is a oviparous animal and their characteristics more important. In the same way, a comparison will be made with the viviparous group, in addition to mentioning the most outstanding animals of the group as an example.

What is an oviparous animal?

Although the fauna presents a very large number of animals, each species has its distinctive characteristics, which has led humans to find a way to classify them.

For example, we have carnivorous animals, which include species that eat meat. We also find domestic and wild animals, which denote the place where these species live. On the other hand, we have the animals oviparous and viviparousa classification that represents the forms of reproduction of some animals.

The oviparous include all those animals that have the ability to produce and lay eggs, being its form of reproduction. The embryo is formed in the eggs deposited, which completes its development until it is time to be born. The last step of this process is called ‘hatching’, which represents the exit of the animal from the egg.

The origin of the word ‘oviparous’ Comes from latin ‘oviparus’. This term is formed from two words, the first being ‘ovum‘ meaning egg, while the second half identifies the word ‘pariere‘, which means give birth. In a strict semantic mode, when pronouncing ‘oviparous’ one is expressing ‘to give birth to an egg’.

What is the difference between an oviparous and a viviparous?

  • The viviparous animal has the capacity to form and develop the embryo inside the uterus and womb of the mother, while the oviparous generates an egg for the baby to form.
  • The viviparous species develops a relationship between mother and embryo, in which the parent takes care of them after they are born until they fend for themselves. On the other hand, the oviparous do not.
  • The reproduction of the viviparous only occurs through the sexual act, while there are oviparous that present ovuliparity.
  • The animal that is going to be born feeds on the placenta in the viviparous, while the oviparous embryos feed on the egg nutrients.

Fertilization in oviparous animals

The fertilization of oviparous animals does not have many differences from the viviparous process, since the distinction is found in the way in which the embryo develops and the place.

In this sense, for fertilization to occur there must be a sexual act between two members of the species, that is, that both male and female must copulate in order for the sperm to fertilize the egg. Once this encounter is over, the female begins to develop her young, however instead of forming them inside a womb, she produces eggs, which she deposits or expels from inside her. It should be noted that the female seeks the most suitable and safe placeso that they are not exposed to predators.

After this occurs, the eggs are left in the external environment, while the embryo develops inside. Here the egg care depends on parent species, For example, the hen and many other birds carry out the process known as hatching, where they sit on the pile of eggs in order to generate heat. On the other hand, there are animals that leave their young alone, such as reptiles, which keep an eye on the place from time to time.

Development ends when the embryo is ready and HE hatcheswhich is the same as the rupture of the shell, so the hatchling goes out into the outside world and begins its life.

There are those who consider that the oviparous group also has a external fertilization, since some animals do not require sexual contact to reproduce. In these cases, the female releases the unfertilized eggs into the external environment, which must always be watery, so that the male release sperm from your body near the eggs, where they are fertilized when a sperm swims toward them. This is known as ovuliparity or ovuliparous animal, which is a subgroup of the oviparous.

Characteristics of oviparous animals

  • Oviparous animals have egg laying as a fundamental element, so they do not develop their young inside their bodies as does the viviparous species.
  • There are certain species that can produce eggs throughout the year, however there is a time called ‘breeding season‘, which indicates the moment in which the animal is in the best disposition to generate offspring. During that time they have the capacity to produce more eggs, for example the sea turtle tends to lay more than 150 eggsbut in a low season the maximum reaches 70.
  • The eggs have the ability to protect the young from the environment and the climate, since those that are on the ground harden quickly, creating a tough shell. This protective layer does not resist attacks by other animals that act as predators of the fauna.
  • It is necessary to emphasize that there are dry and wet eggs, and the first of them are those that remain on the earth’s surface or buried in the earth, which harden with the air and must be broken from within. On the other hand, wet eggs are those that are deposited in the aqueous medium and have a different chemical composition, in addition to having a substance that causes them to adhere to surfaces.

Examples of oviparous animals

The turtles represent an important example of what an oviparous animal is, both those of the sea and those of land, since they are creatures that reproduce frequently and tend to make large displacements to lay their eggs. In this sense, those that live in the sea tend to come out of the water towards the beaches, where they dig and bury their eggs.

The group of the reptiles It also has several of its members among the oviparous, among which salamanders stand out. Similarly, mention should be made of crocodile, iguanas, chameleons and the Komodo dragon. Some snakes also have this type of reproduction, especially those of the constrictor type, such as anacondas or boas.

There are only two individuals in the species of mammals that reproduce as oviparous, these are the echidnas and the platypus. Mention should also be made of fish, eels and rays, although many of them are ovuliparous.

all the birds are oviparous, as were all the dinosaurs that existed in the fauna millions of years ago. In the same way it happens with insects, which do not belong to the viviparous species because reproduce through eggs. In this group it is relevant to highlight the butterfly, the praying mantis, the flies, the ladybugs and the crickets. Also spiders, scorpions, scorpions and crustaceans such as crabs or lobsters.

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