7 Animals You Didn’t Know Hatch From Eggs

We all know that birds hatch from eggs, but what about other creatures? It turns out that there are plenty of species that lay eggs — and some animals even have two birthing options: eggs or live birth.

The term “oviparous” is used to describe animals whose offspring is fertilized and develops inside a shell outside the body.

Here are seven animals that are oviparous, beginning with the reptiles:

1. Lizards

Lizards are interesting because some of them hatch from eggs, while others grow inside the mother before entering the world. Geckos, iguanas and monitor lizards lay eggs, while blue tongue lizards and Solomon island lizards give birth to live offspring.

2. Snakes

Snakes are fairly well-known as egg-layers, but in fact only about 70 percent of them lay eggs. The difference lies in the weather: Oviparous snakes tend to live where the climate is warmer, since this helps incubate their eggs. Snakes that give birth to live offspring generally live in cooler places, where the ground may be too cold for eggs to thrive.

3. Crocodiles

hatching crocodile

Photo Credit: Getty Images

All crocodiles lay eggs, and it can be quite a lengthy process. It may take the endangered American crocodile three weeks between mating and laying. During this time, the female searches for a good spot for her eggs. She lays them at night, producing between 40 and 90 eggs at one sitting.

4. Alligators

American alligator

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Like crocodiles, all alligators lay eggs. The American alligator inhabits the waterways of the U.S. from North Carolina to Texas. After mating — usually in early May — the female builds a nest out of vegetation, and within two months she lays 35 to 50 eggs. After a 65-day period of incubation, the eggs hatch. 

5. Crabs

While numerous types of crabs exist, their reproductive habits are quite similar. Here’s how it works for horseshoe crabs: In the spring, the male horseshoe crab waits on the beach for the female to arrive. When she does, he climbs onto her back. The female crab then digs a nest on the beach, and the male fertilizes her eggs as she drops them into the nest. One female can produce between 60,000 and 120,000 eggs, as seen above!

6. Fish

Almost all fish lay eggs. Females release thousands of eggs into the water, where they are fertilized by males. These offspring develop and hatch with no help from their parents. Just a few fishes keep their eggs inside their bodies and give birth to live young. These are known as livebearers and include guppies, mollies and swordtails.

7. Echidnas

echidna

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Spiny anteaters, or echidnas, are really strange creatures, as primitive mammals that lay eggs. Known as monotremes, they live exclusively in Australia and New Guinea. The only other living egg-laying mammal is the platypus. The female spiny anteater usually lays one egg at a time, which she puts into a pouch on her stomach. There, it incubates and becomes ready to hatch in seven to ten days. The baby is known as a puggle and remains in the pouch for another six to eight weeks.

Photo Credit: Steve Bittinger/Flickr

97 comments

Chad A
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooleyabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Paula A
Paula Aabout a month ago

thank you for this

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tammy C
tammy Cabout a month ago

wow knew some of them

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salah zoubiri
salah zoubiriabout a month ago

Tyfs

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Shirley S
Shirley Sabout a month ago

The Anteater was a revelation.

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Marija M
Marija Mabout a month ago

tks

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Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Interesting

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Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Tyfs

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Carol Johnson
Carol Johnson1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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