Do you know what ovoviviparous animals are? If not, don’t worry – you’re about to learn!
Ovoviviparous animals are a special type of creature that hatches eggs inside their bodies and then gives birth to live young. This is in contrast to other animals, which lay eggs outside of their bodies. There are many different types of ovoviviparous creatures, and they can be found all over the world.
Ovoviviparous animals are found in a variety of different habitats. Some, like the great white shark, live in the ocean. Others, like the slow worm, can be found on land.
One of the most interesting things about ovoviviparous animals is the way they reproduce. Unlike other animals, which lay eggs and then leave them to hatch on their own, ovoviviparous animals keep their eggs inside their bodies until they are ready to hatch. This means that the young are born live, rather than as eggs.
Ovoviviparity vs. Oviparity vs. Viviparity
While all ovoviviparous animals reproduce similarly, there is a big difference between ovoviviparity and oviparity. Ovoviviparity is when the eggs are hatched inside the mother’s body and the young are born live. Oviparity, on the other hand, is when the eggs are laid outside of the mother’s body and the young hatch on their own.
Mammals are a type of animal that is viviparous. Mammals have a placenta, which is an organ that helps to nourish the developing fetus.
Examples of Ovoviviparous animals
Great White Sharks
One of the most well-known ovoviviparous animals is the Great White shark. Sharks are a type of fish, and there are many different species of shark. Some sharks, like the great white shark, can be found in the ocean. Others, like the bull shark, can live in both fresh and saltwater.
All sharks are carnivores, and they use their sharp teeth to catch prey. Sharks have a special type of skin called “dermal denticles” which helps to reduce drag as they swim through the water.
Great White Sharks reach sexual maturity at around 15 years old. When the sharks are born, usually along with a dozen siblings, they immediately become independent and swim away from their mother who may see them as prey and eat them.
Newly born sharks (pups) are not at all small and can measure around 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length already. As they grow, they will at least triple in size.
Rattlesnakes are a type of snake, and they can be found in the deserts of North America. Rattlesnakes are named for the “rattle” at the end of their tails, which they use to warn predators that they are venomous snakes.
Rattlesnakes do not lay eggs in nests. They give birth to live young. This type of reproduction is known as ovoviviparous. Female rattlesnakes only reproduce once every two years and carry the eggs inside their bodies for about 90 days. Young rattlesnakes are almost independent just minutes after they are born and in some species, their venom is more toxic than the adult’s venom.
Seahorses are a type of fish, and they can be found in the waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Seahorses are named for their horse-like heads, which they use to camouflage themselves among the seagrasses.
Seahorses reproduce unusually. The male seahorse becomes pregnant instead of the female. Most seahorse pregnancies last approximately 2 to 3 weeks. The male seahorse has a brood pouch where he carries eggs deposited by the female.
The seahorse is one of the most amazing and unique creatures of marine fauna. Unfortunately, most seahorses are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ due to a population decline of at least 20% in 10 years or 3 generations projected or suspected in the future based on a decline in area of occupancy, the extent of occurrence, and/or quality of habitat and actual or potential levels of exploitation declines and habitat destruction.
Chameleons are a type of lizard, and they can be found in the forests of Africa and Madagascar. Chameleons are named for their ability to change the color of their skin, which they use to camouflage themselves among the leaves. Most species of Chameleon are oviparous.
The ovoviviparous species, such as Jackson’s chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii) have a five- to seven-month gestation period. Each young chameleon is born within the sticky transparent membrane of its yolk sac. The mother presses each egg onto a branch, where it sticks. The membrane bursts and the newly hatched chameleon frees itself and climbs away to hunt for itself and hide from predators. The female can have up to 30 live young from one gestation
Despite its name and appearance, it is not a worm or a snake, but a lizard, belonging to the family Anguidae and the order Squamata. They are a species complex, consisting of 5 distinct but similar species.
The slow worm is a semifossorial (burrowing), legless lizard, which spends much of its time hiding underneath objects.
After hatching, the young stay in the mother’s womb for a while. While the babies of slow worms are inside the body of the mother, they live off the yolk of the eggs that hatch inside the bodies of the female slow worms. The gestation period can be between 3 and 5 months long, and the number of offspring can range from 3 to 20.
Female slow worms generally reproduce every other year and reach sexual maturity at around 3 to 4 years old.
Cottonmouth snakes mate in spring, from April to May, and females give birth to live young every two to three years, in litters of about 10 to 20. The gestation period is around five months, and they are ovoviviparous, which means that eggs incubate inside the female.
During the mating process, males wave their tails and slither around, sometimes called dancing, to lure females away from other males, and will even fight each other when competing for females.
Galapagos Whale Shark
The reproductive habits of the whale shark are obscure. It is believed that Whale sharks are oviparous (animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother), but the capture of a female in July 1996 who was pregnant with 300 pups indicates that they are ovoviviparous.
The eggs remain in the body and the females give birth to live young which are 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) to 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) long. It is believed that they reach sexual maturity at around 30 years and the life span has been estimated to be between 70 and 180 years.
Sea snakes are closely related to Cobras. They are aquatic rather than land-dwelling snakes. True sea snakes only live in water. Sea Snakes have adapted to a life in water and have small flattened heads that minimize water resistance when they swim.
Except for a single genus, all sea snakes are ovoviviparous (development of eggs that remain within the mother’s body up until they hatch or are about to hatch.). The young are born alive in the water where they live out their entire life cycle. In some species, the young are quite large, sometimes up to half as long as their mother.