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13 Animals That Lay Eggs

hatching chick egg

Do you want to learn about Animals that lay eggs?

Living beings have distinct modes of reproduction. These various reproductive methods are the factors that differentiate animals into two categories: viviparous and oviparous animals. But more on that in a bit.

Nature’s way of sustaining ecological balance on earth is somewhat peculiar. Mother nature has granted viviparous animals the ability to undergo a labor process to give birth to their kind directly. In contrast, oviparous animals lay eggs that birth their offspring when hatched.

hatching eggs

Every process created by nature is purposeful. For instance, if nature has allowed birds to lay eggs to produce their offspring, it might benefit them. 

Primarily, birds cannot fly while carrying the weight of their babies inside. Thus, they keep themselves and their little ones safe by laying eggs in a secluded place. 

If you are how curious to learn about the oviparous species of the animal kingdom, keep reading to explore more about the complex egg-laying process and a description of the top 13 animals that lay eggs. 

What’s Inside Those Eggs?

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The egg you typically see in your kitchen every day is precisely the one from which a baby chick is born. It is fascinating how an egg white and yolk transform into a whole living chicken! 

The anatomy of an egg is the same for all oviparous animals. The egg yolk contains the embryo that transforms into a baby. The egg white aids this process by providing water to the tiny embryo.

Once the baby fully develops inside the egg, it hatches, and the little one forges out of the shell. 

How Do Oviparous Animals Differ From Viviparous Animals?

As mentioned earlier, the significant difference between the two animal categories is that the oviparous are egg-laying animals, while the viviparous are animals that give live birth. 

Besides, the main discussion area is how these baby animals develop till birth. 

Once the species complete the mating process, the eggs in an oviparous female become fertilized and are laid outside her body to wait until the offspring develops inside. 

However, in the case of viviparous animals, the eggs fertilized in the female body remain and develop inside her womb until they are ready to be born alive.

The whole process of giving birth consists of complex stages starting immediately after the mating process ends. These captivating procedures do nothing but compel humans to hurl praises at nature for making the world such an exciting place to live in. 

Animals That Lay Eggs 

If we were to enlist all the oviparous animals, you would be exhausted by reading the never-ending list!

Many prominent species in the animal kingdom are oviparous, including insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and even some mammals. 

So, if you’re ready to learn about the 13 animals that lay eggs, buckle up with us!

#1 Birds

Birds are the most lively and scintillating species of the animal kingdom that are somewhat related to the ancient family of reptiles, the dinosaurs. 

They are the only known animals on earth with feathers, making them a highly distinctive creation of nature. These warm-blooded vertebrates are also known to be the closest to reptiles due to the scaly appearance of their feet. 

The most giant birds alive at present are the ostriches of North Africa, with their height ranging up to 9 feet and weight up to 350 pounds. An ostrich egg is the largest among every other bird species.

On the other hand, the smallest extant birds are the bee hummingbirds indigenous to Cuba that weigh less than 3 grams. 

In addition, the wings of a bird are the ones that make them stand out amongst every other species. 

However, having wings doesn’t guarantee the ability of a bird to fly. There are several flightless birds, including penguins, kiwis, and ostriches, that, although they have wings, cannot fly due to certain evolutions that occurred over the years.

In addition, the eggs of a bird have a hard shell which ensures safety, and are laid in nests made by the birds in secluded areas, such as a treetop or an abandoned room. The parents then fulfill the responsibility of caring for their little ones until they hatch entirely. 

#2 Crocodiles

Crocodile in Florida

Crocodiles are among the most giant and vicious reptiles on earth. They are closely related to their somewhat lookalikes, the alligators, and are the descendants of the ancient families of dinosaurs. 

Crocodiles have fascinating anatomy. The rough and scaly skin protects them from predator attacks, and the tan-to-olive body coat allows better camouflage. Moreover, the colossal tail enables them to propel effortlessly in the water.

These giant reptiles are very fond of living in saltwater bodies. They immerse themselves entirely underwater, looking for potential prey to attack them very cleverly. Their strong jaws and teeth allow the smooth killing of their targets. 

As soon as these species mate, the females lay several eggs in a leaf-covered nest made of soil and plants to provide warmth to the eggs during incubation until they hatch. 

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Quite interestingly, the shell of a crocodile egg is thin and leathery, which protects them from drying out in extremely dry atmospheres and safeguards them from predator attacks. 

Click here to learn other interesting facts regarding these beastly reptiles. 

#3 Turtles/Tortoise

Turtles are adorable reptiles known for their characteristic hard shell and tiny legs that ensure they never walk fast! 

These adaptive species know how to adjust to almost every climate, which is why they’re everywhere worldwide.

Turtles are aquatic lovers who spend much of their lives in water. Sea turtles are especially the ones who only arrive at the shore to lay their eggs and return to the water instantly. 

On the other hand, tortoises are land-lovers who prefer dwelling on land and even in deep burrows on hot days. 

In addition, all turtles are oviparous and lay eggs in nests on sand beaches. The females travel to the shore to lay eggs, usually around 110 eggs at a time, and cover them with sand to immediately leave back without guarding them.  

 #4 Frogs

Frogs are small amphibians known for their vast rounded eyes and slimy skin. These hopping creatures are found abundantly in every part of the world. 

Apart from their typical green appearance, there are colorful variants that, even though they look gorgeous, have poisonous skins capable of killing a human!

Frogs are water-loving creatures that prefer living near ponds and areas surrounded by trees. Moreover, the time these species take to attain maturity is approximately three months, after which they can mate. 

The way these animals produce their offspring is unique. A male frog hops on a female immersed in water. She immediately lays the eggs in water fertilized by the sperm released by the male at the same instant. 

A tadpole emerges from the egg around 20 days after undergoing incubation. The number of these tadpoles hatching simultaneously can be approximately 5000 or even more, depending on the number of eggs the female lays.

#5 Fish

clown fish

Fish are marine vertebrates with distinctive anatomy and behavior. For instance, these gorgeous species have gills that help breathing and fins that allow them to swim.

Over several thousand species of fish reside in the deep water bodies on earth, and there may still be more species that are yet to be discovered by scientists.

Every species of fish comes with unique colors and patterns that are mainly influenced by their habitats to camouflage well. 

In addition, there are two methods of reproduction incorporated by fish populations: the egg-laying method and the live birth method, where the offspring develops in an egg inside the female body and hatches inside too. Such animal species are called ovoviviparous. 

A female fish is capable of releasing several thousands of eggs in the water that are fertilized by male sperm immediately as they are released. However, only a few of these fish mature into adults, while the rest either die or are consumed by potential predators. 

#6 Snakes

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Snakes are long and scaly reptiles that are the scariest animals on earth. They are closely related to their fellow reptiles, the lizards, and are found in almost every part of the world except for Antarctica.

The vicious serpents can be as tiny as 4 inches long and as huge as 20 feet long! 

Snakes can be divided into venomous and non-venomous categories, where the venomous ones have built-in fangs in their mouth to inject venom and poison their victim. 

On the other hand, non-venomous snakes, though capable of biting, do not prefer attacking their victims the conventional way. Instead, they coil around the victim to suffocate them to death.

The terrifying serpents undergo internal fertilization to produce their offspring. Although, not every species of snake is oviparous.

Some species, like rattlesnakes, are ovoviviparous that give live birth. However, the maximum ratio of the population of these reptiles is oviparous.

A female lays around 15-30 eggs at a time and offers protection by hiding them in nests made in isolated areas or by coiling over them to attack any potential predators. 

#7 Lizards

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Lizards are egg-laying reptiles that belong to the Squamata order. These vile creatures exist in thousands of different species in every corner of the world. 

Lizards are a somewhat unique family of reptiles that can regrow their detached tails, with their colorful bodies that can switch colors according to the surroundings, providing effective camouflage against predators. 

The most giant lizard on the planet at present is the Komodo Dragon weighing more than 350 pounds, with their length being approximately 10 feet. On the contrary, the smallest living lizard is the nano chameleon, which is less than an inch long!

eastern collared lizard animals in oklahoma

Number 7 on the list for Animals That Lay Eggs. The female lizards lay their eggs in a secluded area, abandoning them to mature independently.

The number of eggs may vary according to the size of the lizard, ranging from around 35-40 small eggs or a few large eggs. 

#8 Duck-billed Platypus

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A duck-billed platypus is an egg-laying mammal, scientifically known as a monotreme, with duck-like beaks and flappy feet to aid in swimming.

Quite surprisingly, they are one of a few mammals that can produce venom, mostly through their feet, that is not considered fatal to human beings but can lead to severe pain.

A point of fascination about these species is that they are one out of the five mammals capable of laying eggs to produce their offspring.

A month after a successful mating session, a female lays down two to three very soft eggs.

Their hatching period is ten days, during which she curls around the eggs to protect them until the babies are safe and sound.

#9 Spiny Ant-Eaters (Echidnas)

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The four species of echidnas, namely the eastern, western, and Sir David’s long-beaked echidna, and the short-beaked echidna, are the only mammals after a duck-billed platypus that lay eggs and are usually found in Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.

These critters have a long tube-like beak from which they breathe and eat. Their spiny body consists of a muscular layer of skin that gives them immense amounts of strength to make their way through tough terrains easily. 

Their reproductive chain starts after the mating season ends. The females develop an extra layer of skin that works as a pouch to store their leathery eggs. 

The infant remains in the pouch even after hatching to feed from the mother’s body until it develops spines irritating the mother.

#10 Seahorses

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Even though they belong to the fish family, seahorses look nothing like typical fish since their heads resemble a horse and have a bony body instead of scaly ones. 

These adorable little creatures reside near coral reefs or mangroves in shallow water bodies. Their ability to change color as per the surrounding environment provides them with excellent camouflage.

They are the slowest swimming fish that carry a single tiny fin on their backs that, even though it waggles at very high speeds, does not contribute much to the swim speed of these species.

The way this fish species mate is so fascinating. They perform a greeting dance with their mate by wrapping their prehensile tails with one another and twisting and turning around in the water. 

Sea Horse

Moreover, these unique species have a male that gives birth. The female drops eggs into a pouch found on the male’s abdomen, which is then fertilized by the male and left for incubation.

The baby seahorses emerge in groups of hundreds and thousands after a short period.

#11 Insects

insect eggs

Insects form the largest class of species in the animal kingdom and are distinguished due to their divided bodies, external skeletons, and pair of antennas. 

These tiny creatures may have wings that allow them to fly and carry significant importance today due to their environment-controlling abilities. 

insect eggs

The modes of reproduction in insects vary. However, a large number of these species are oviparous, including cockroaches and fleas) and mate actively to produce fertilized eggs that carry their offspring.

Once the eggs hatch, the baby insects undergo molting, where they shed their skin to grow and develop new and larger bodies.

#12 Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs belong to the family of crustaceans and, quite surprisingly, do not fall under the category of a typical crab.

These aquatic creatures have soft abdomens; to protect them, they look for seashells to cover their bodies. 

Like seahorses, hermit crabs are fond of living in shallow waters near coral reefs. However, some land-loving hermit crab species also exist.

Female hermit crabs have abdominal pleopods where they attach their developed eggs and carry them along. An average female is capable of laying thousands of eggs in water. Another interesting one for Animals That Lay Eggs.

#13 Spiders

Spiders are crawling species belonging to the arachnid families (they are not insects). They are present everywhere in the world, excluding Antarctica. 

These crawling critters may be venomous and attack their prey through their fangs containing glands that produce and secrete venom. 

These oviparous animals mate to fertilize the female eggs bearing their offspring. The female lays thousands of eggs and tangles them into a single sac made of woven silk.

Spider eggs are mostly left to hatch and grow independently without being cared for by their parents. 

Summary of Animals That Lay Eggs

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Exploring the different qualities and behaviors of animals is rather exciting. The way these creatures make their way and proceed in this human-dominated world is simply praiseworthy. 

However, not every species can survive in environments susceptible to changes due to human activities. 

Climate change, deforestation, urbanization, etc., are mainly why some of these species of the animal kingdom get wiped away from the face of the earth due to their inability to cater to these changes.

Therefore, we must conserve wildlife rather than making the world a living hell for these species. 

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