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Viviparous

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Fin whale and calf / Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation

Fin whale and calf in the Gulf of Maine. Fin whales are viviparous - they give birth to enormous (about 20 feet long) live calves.

© Dianna Schulte/Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
Definition:

Viviparous organisms are those that give birth to live young. The young develop within the mother's body.

Examples of marine life that are viviparous include:

The opposite (antonym) of viviparous is oviparous, in which the organism lays eggs. A type of development in between viviparity and oviparity is ovoviviparity - these animals are said to be ovoviviparous. In this case, the mother produces eggs, but they develop within her body instead of hatching outside the body.

Pronunciation: VI-vip-are-us
Also Known As: Live-bearing, bear live young
Examples:
Viviparous shark species include bull sharks, blue sharks, lemon sharks, and hammerhead sharks.

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