Examples of oviparous, viviparous and ovoviviparous animals –

The classification made by biology between oviparous, viviparous and ovoviviparous animals has to do with the form of reproduction and birth. Here we will expose examples of oviparous, viviparous and ovoviviparous animals their main characteristics and differences.


Animals that lay eggs are called oviparous. In oviparous animals, fertilization takes place internally, but embryonic development takes place externally. Fertilization takes place inside the female who, after a development time, releases the eggs outside. The name oviparous comes from the Latin, ovum-parire that is for females to lay eggs.
The egg is fertilized when it is placed in a dry place. On the contrary, in humid environments, the eggs are not yet fertile, and once placed in the water, the male pours his sperm on them, completing their fertilization.
When the hatchling is ready to hatch, the moment when the egg breaks and the hatchling comes out, is called hatching, and signifies the birth of the hatchling.

Examples of Oviparous

All birds lay eggs with a typical hard calcium shell. Frogs are amphibians that lay soft gelatinous eggs that require constant hydration. Almost all fish are oviparous. Except for a few species of snakes, all other reptiles are oviparous. In mammals, the echidna and the platypus lay eggs (which is why they are mammals and oviparous at the same time).

Amphibians (frogs, toads)
Monotremata mammals such as the platypus and echidna


Animals that give birth to young are called viviparous. In viviparous animals, both fertilization and embryo development take place inside the female’s womb. Once the development of the fetus is complete, the mother gives birth to the young. This development is known as matrotrophy where the embryo obtains nutrients directly from the mother.
The fetus grows inside the placenta, a bag that contains all the nutrients needed to develop organs and bone structure. The characteristic that distinguishes viviparous from other animals is that the nutrition of the fetus is developed through the mother.
Mammals are viviparous, except monotremes, which are oviparous mammals.

Examples of viviparous

Human beings
Primates (Chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, etc.)


In the case of ovoviviparous animals, fertilization is internal and the development of the egg lacks nutrition from the mother. The egg develops and hatches inside the mother’s body. The eggs incubate inside the mother. Once the egg hatches, it remains inside the mother for a period of time and is nourished from within, but not through a placental appendage. Ovoviviparous animals are born alive.

Examples of Ovoviviparous


Differences between oviparity and ovoviviparity

Oviparity is different from ovoviviparity in that eggs in oviparity may or may not undergo internal fertilization, but are laid and rely on the yolk sac for nourishment until the time they hatch.
These animals do not display an umbilical cord, which is typically their physical attachment to the mother for nutrient requirements and gas exchange. In such cases, the food is obtained from the yolk of the egg. When this yolk is depleted, the mother provides additional nutrition in the form of unfertilized eggs and uterine secretions.
One of the advantages of ovoviviparous animals is that, after birth, the young are competent enough to feed and defend themselves.