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Viviparous animals: what are they, characteristics and examples

Did you know that around 20% of the 9,000 known species of snakes and lizards are viviparous? These groups of reptiles are capable of adapting their reproductive strategies in the most surprising ways to the habitat in which they live. Thus, depending on the environmental conditions, they make use of an efficient viviparous reproduction during the gestation of their young. As for fish, would you say that there are also viviparous species? The answer is yes, although in a lower percentage than the case of reptiles, since only 2% of the known species of fish have viviparous young.

In this interesting AgroCorrn article you will learn in detail about viviparous animals: what they are, characteristics and examples , as well as some curious information about the reproduction and gestation strategies that we carry out, both we mammals and other groups. of animals.

What are viviparous animals

With reference to the type of reproduction and gestation of the new animal individuals, it is possible to group as viviparous animals all those that are characterized by an internal development of the embryo .

In this way, the embryos, after mating and fertilization by two adult individuals of different sexes, grow and develop inside the female’s womb , in a specialized structure for this. In this structure, the embryos of viviparous species cover their nutritional and respiratory needs necessary to develop their organs, grow and mature until the moment of their birth.

In the next sections of this article we will see more characteristics that define viviparous animals, as well as several examples of different groups of animals that follow viviparous reproduction and gestation.

Characteristics of viviparous animals

The main characteristics of viviparous animals , which allow us to identify and differentiate them from animals with other types of reproduction, are:

  • Direct birth of live young.
  • Internal fertilization by male individuals to females, differentiating different sexual reproductive organs and various mating strategies to carry out such fertilization, which will allow the development of embryos in a viviparous way.
  • Embryos grow and develop within the mother, either in placental or non-placental systems, thus directly receiving the food it needs to grow, through an umbilical cord that directly connects the mother’s bloodstream and that of the children. embryos.
  • After birth, the young need to be suckled by their mothers for a certain lactation period, in the exclusive case of mammals. In the rest of the groups of viviparous animals, the juveniles are already born prepared to face the new conditions of the environment and feed themselves.

Viviparous animals: types of reproduction

Within the wide group of viviparous animals that exist in nature, they have different types of reproduction and gestation. Among the types of reproduction of viviparous animals we can differentiate:

  • Placental viviparism : corresponds to the “viviparism par excellence” and the most developed of the types of viviparous reproduction. It is characterized by the presence of a placental system inside the belly of the pregnant female, which provides protection and nourishment to the embryos during their development.
  • Marsupial viviparism : this other type of viviparism is characterized by the absence of a placenta, so that the fetus is born in a premature state that forces the mother to provide new conditions of protection and feeding until its full development. This is the case of the so-called marsupials, in which the females have an outer bag or pouch, in which they transport and care for the young. In this other AgroCorrn article we explain everything about what marsupial animals are .
  • Oviviparism: This type of reproduction combines characteristics of both viviparism and oviparism . Females give birth to live young, which hatch from eggs internally. For this, during their internal embryonic development, the embryos are nourished by the reserves of the egg yolk (yolk sac) in which they are immersed, since there is no placental system that connects the mother and the embryos during gestation. .

Examples of viviparous animals

Here is a list of examples of viviparous animals taking into account species from different groups of animals:

Examples of viviparous mammals

  • Ser huamano ( Homo sapiens sapiens )
  • Koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus )
  • Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)
  • Rabbits (genus Oryctolagus)
  • Bay sloth ( Bradypus variegatus )

Viviparous reptiles: examples

  • Subterranean lizard ( Plestiodon reynoldsi )
  • Fujian lizard ( Plestiodon popei )
  • Jackson’s tryoceros chameleon ( Trioceros jacksonii )
  • Striped snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
  • Three-toed skinks (Saiphos equalis)

Examples of viviparous amphibians

  • Celebres Island Frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus )
  • Surinam Toad ( Pipa pipa )
  • Cecilidae (family Caecilidade)
  • Herpelidae (family Herpelidae)
  • Typhlonectidae (family Typholonectidae)

Viviparous fish: examples

  • Dusky tiger shark ( Carcharias taurus )
  • Lemon shark ( Carcharhinus acronotus )
  • Musola tiger (Mustelus lenticulatus)
  • Guppy fish ( Poecilia reticulata )
  • Endler fish ( Poecilia winge i)

Video about what are viviparous animals, their characteristics and examples

We end with this video from our YouTube channel about viviparous animals as a summary. We hope you find it useful as well.

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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