Difference between Oviparous and Viviparous Animals
By Claire Miles - April 15, 2023

All animals develop from eggs, including humans. While some eggs are propelled outside the body of some animals, they remain hidden in the body of others. This is the first difference between Oviparous and Viviparous animals, but there are some more. Ovoviviparous is another group in which the eggs hatch inside the animal’s body, and the young emerge. Some snakes, sharks, and other animals exhibit this behavior.

Chart Summary
  1. They are animals that lay eggs
They are animals that give birth to their young and live
  1. The primary source of nutrition for the developing young comes from the yolk sac
The primary source of nutrition for the developing young comes from the placenta or similar structures
Hen laying eggs

Getty images/View Stock/ViewStock


Oviparity is a characteristic animal in which fertilization can be external or internal, but the young are always born outside the body. Most fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and even birds are oviparous. Some invertebrates, such as insects, are oviparous as well.
A viviparous animal develops an embryo within the female’s body, resulting in the live birth of a young one. The embryo grows in unique organs within the female’s body, where the mother gives vital nutrients. Except for birds, all vertebrate groups contain viviparous animals.

Oviparous vs Viviparous

Oviparous creatures lay eggs that hatch, whereas viviparous species give birth to offspring directly. Oviparous animals can reproduce either inside or externally, whereas viviparous creatures reproduce only internally.
The development of a zygote happens outside the mother’s body in oviparous mammals. The formation of a zygote takes place within the body of a viviparous mother.

In oviparous species, the embryo takes nutrition from the egg yolk. In viviparous birth, the embryo obtains nourishment from the mother via the placenta or comparable tissues.
The young of an oviparous animal have a lower likelihood of survival since the eggs are placed in an environment vulnerable to various hazards. The chances of survival for viviparous children are higher since they are sheltered inside the mother’s body and receive adequate nutrition.