Oviparous Animals vs. Viviparous Animals

Main Difference

Every day different animals reproduce. A young one is brought to life. There are five ways to reproduce. However, oviparous and viviparous are two of the five main ways an animal produce. The main difference between an Oviparous and viviparous is that the oviparous animals give birth to an egg or in other words it reproduce but there is no embryonic development within the animal. While, viviparous are those that bear the child in mother and give birth to the live young ones.


oviparousThe adjective “Ovi” means an egg while “Parous” stands for birth. Therefore, an offspring coming out of an egg are characteristics of Oviparous animals. There are many species that are called oviparous in our animal kingdom. Over the whole, to protect the embryo that is been developed inside the egg from the external trauma, has a hard covering on it. When the maternal gene enters the ovum or egg it start forming a hard shell around it. The reproduction process and forming of an egg occurs after the mating of an adult male and female animal. In other words it is a sexual reproduction. As the egg develops outside the body of the mother, it is a result of external fertilization. External fertilization is when the ovum is thrown out of the body by the mother and then the sperm travels to it, unites with an egg in open rather then is specialized inside environment.  The external fertilization where sperm and ova are ejaculated out mostly works for aquatic species in of the sea environment. Some mimic internal fertilization. Therefore those who o for external fertilization lay multiple eggs while those with “mimic” internal fertilization, especially non aquatic species, lay one egg at a time. All invertebrates are oviparous in nature. They lay egg and let the embryonic development happen within the egg.


viviparousViviparous means the baby born as live birth, no egg covering or shelter around it. In other words, it can be said that the offspring stays inside the mother womb till it is mature enough for its own survival. The developing embryonic phase is carried out inside the mother womb. The young one is kept inside the body from where directly it gets all the food, nourishment, shelter and protection. The waste produced by the young one inside a mother’s womb is removed naturally through excretion system of the mother. Internal fertilization takes place in viviparous animals. It means that the ovum is produced by the mother inside the setup and then sperm travels to it. The fusion occurs inside the body of the female and the embryo starts developing.

Key Differences

  • An oviparous is egg laying animals while viviparous gives birth to live offspring.
  • The ovum is thrown outside the body in the oviparous while the ovum stays inside the viviparous animals.
  • Fertilized egg in oviparous is covered by shell while in viviparous there is no cover, just mother’s womb.
  • Oviparous give birth to multiple eggs at a time while viviparous gives birth to one or two.
  • Oviparous internal (mimic) plus external fertilization takes place while in viviparous only internal fertilization occurs.
  • In oviparous eggs survival is less while in viviparous survival is great.
  • Fish, birds, amphibian or reptiles are some examples of oviparous while whales, dolphins or mammals are example of viviparous.

Video Explanation


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