AskDefine | Define oviparous

Dictionary Definition

oviparous adj : egg-laying [ant: ovoviviparous, viviparous]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin; ov = egg + parous = birth related.


  1. Egg laying; an oviparous animal deposits eggs that develop and hatch outside the body as their reproductive strategy.
    The echidna is a monotreme, which is the extremely small subset of oviparous mammals.



See also

Extensive Definition

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 and 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).

External links

oviparous in German: Oviparie
oviparous in Spanish: Oviparidad
oviparous in Croatian: Oviparnost
oviparous in Italian: Oviparismo
oviparous in Portuguese: Ovíparo
oviparous in Russian: Кладка яиц
oviparous in Swedish: Ovipari
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