expulsion of undeveloped eggs rather than live young. The eggs may have been fertilized before release, as in birds and some reptiles, or are to be fertilized externally, as in amphibians and many lower forms. In general, the number of eggs produced by oviparous species greatly exceeds the number of offspring from species that bear live young, but the chances of survival are diminished because of the lack of maternal protection. Compare viviparity.
Learn more about oviparity with a free trial on Britannica.com.