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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

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
Viviparous shark species include bull sharks, blue sharks, lemon sharks, and hammerhead sharks.

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