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Animals

Top 10 Fascinating Eggs

Kate Mulcahy . . . Comments

Bacteria and other tiny cells merely divide in two to reproduce, but more complex creatures need more complex means of reproduction. Animals use eggs in one form or other; however, most are not very similar to the familiar breakfast food many of us enjoy. Animal eggs are as different and varied in their structure as the animals who made them.

10

Shark Eggs

Shark Egg Case

Most sharks and skates lay strangely shaped eggs sometimes called a ‘mermaid’s purse.’ These consist of an egg case in a thin capsule made of collagen. They often are square or rectangular with stringy or pointy corner horns, but can come in a variety of odd shapes. A few sharks, such as the Port Jackson shark, have helical egg cases which are secured into the sand like drill bits. Shark eggs can wash up on the beach and are often hand-sized, although the largest recorded was over 2m long. Female sharks lay fertilized eggs onto the sea floor where they stay until they hatch, not needing any more attention from their mother. Some shark eggs contain several baby sharks which cannibalize each other before hatching to ensure that only the strongest baby survives.

9

Octopus Eggs

Octopus-5B

Octopuses string their soft, translucent eggs up on overhangs of rock or coral. The females lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time and will stay to guard them against hungry predators until they hatch. This often takes so long that she begins to starve and some octopuses will eat their own arms to survive. Once her thousands of tiny offspring are hatched, they feed on microscopic organisms like plankton until they grow large enough to live on the sea floor as adults. The mother, often disabled, will generally be eaten by a predator once she leaves her lair because she has grown too weak to defend herself.


8

Fish Eggs

Anemone Fish Eggs

Unlike sharks and octopuses, most fish do not have sex. The female lays or releases unfertilized eggs and the male injects them with sperm. In some species, the male and female might never even meet each other. Although some fish, like the octopus, will stay to protect the eggs, most have nothing more to do with them and leave them to develop on their own. Millions of soft eggs are laid at once, so even hungry predators will not destroy all of them before they hatch. Some eggs are laid on secure surfaces like rocks whereas others drift freely in the water, sometimes for up to hundreds of kilometers. Free-floating eggs are called ichthyoplankton and some are able to swim even before they hatch.

7

Bird Eggs

Blue Bird Eggs

Female birds and most reptiles lay internally fertilized eggs and most will protect them until they hatch, often in a specially-constructed nest. Even after hatching, the offspring are often helpless and require still more care. Bird egg shells are made from calcium carbonate, which is also the major component of sea shells and pearls. For camouflage, some egg shells are colored or patterned with various other chemicals. Eggs often are slightly pinched at one end due to compression they experience inside their mother. This is useful for many birds as it makes the eggs roll around in a circle rather than irretrievably away. Many birds keep their eggs warm by sitting on them. A few birds sneakily lay their eggs in other birds’ nests so that the egg’s unwitting foster parents will put in the work instead. Some birds, such as hens, will lay unfertilized eggs which are a large food source for humans.

6

Dinosaur Eggs

Dinosaur Eggs From China

Dinosaur eggs sometimes contain fossilized baby dinosaurs inside, and offer a fantastic look into the past. Dinosaur eggs have many shapes. Some are elongated spheres, similar to many modern medical tablets. Others are teardrops, and still more are spherical. Some dinosaurs laid many eggs in a nest and protected them while others laid eggs indiscriminately before abandoning them. There are many types of dinosaur eggs, and only some have a similar shell to modern bird or reptile eggs. They can be much larger than the eggs of any extant animal, with the largest being over 60cm long and 20cm wide. Even this is much smaller than the full adult size of many dinosaurs, due to the nature of eggs limiting their size. Eggshells contain tiny pores to allow gases into the embryo inside. An egg that is too large needs a thicker shell to support its own weight, which prevents the pores from allowing the embryo to breathe.

5

Sponge and Jelly Eggs

Sponge-Eggs-Roseau-Dominique-Divers

Sponges, jellies, and corals produce eggs in a similar way to most fish. They do not have males and females. Instead, simple male and female organs both occur on a single creature, which release eggs and sperm into the water. Some reproduce asexually, without even the male and female organs, by simply releasing some of their cells to grow directly into new individuals without needing to be fertilized. Some sponges and jellies can reproduce if they are broken up into pieces, where each piece broken off them grows into a new individual. In some species of sponges, if you were to slice one up finely and spread out the fragments, they would merge back together and reform. If you spread them out far enough, each fragment would simply grow into a new sponge.


4

Insect Eggs

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Female insects often store sperm from a single mating to use for every subsequent fertilization, so many males die after their only mating. Insects will lay many eggs at once, and sometimes construct extravagant nests or nurseries for them. The eggs themselves can be stunningly shaped or camouflaged. Some eggs are laid in water and the newborn insects are adapted to spending the first portion of their life aquatically before emerging into the air. Many insects will care for their eggs after they are laid, with some ants and termites even controlling the humidity and pH for them.

3

Amphibian Eggs

Frog Eggs

Most amphibians begin the first parts of their lives in water but as adults live on land. Their eggs are therefore often laid in water, surrounded by a gel to keep them all together. When they hatch, the offspring are called ‘tadpoles’ and have gills but no legs. They swim around like fish, although initially they also lack a mouth and live directly off the yolk left over from their egg by absorbing it through their skin. Eventually, tadpoles grow mouths, legs, lungs, lose their tail, and become fully adult. Some frogs carry their eggs about to protect them or if there is not enough water around. A small number of amphibians become tadpoles and grow into tiny adults before they even hatch, so they do not need to live in the water at all.


2

Monotreme Eggs

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Monotremes are thought to have evolved from reptiles and were the ancestors of modern mammals. The only living monotremes today are platypuses and echidnas. They are warm-blooded, have hair, and produce milk, so they are mammals. However, not like other mammals, they lay eggs. Unlike most birds and reptiles, while the egg is still inside a mother monotreme, she supplies it with a small amount of nutrition from her own body, similar to other mammals. Monotreme eggs are small, white, and spherical. They are laid in small numbers and are fastidiously cared for by their mother in her burrow until 4 to 6 months after hatching. Platypuses keep their eggs warm by curling their tail over them whereas echidnas warm them by tucking them in a small fold of skin across their stomachs. Monotremes do not have nipples to produce milk from, so instead they sweat milk which their newly-hatched young drink.

1

Vivipary

Human-Egg

Vivipary is giving birth to live young. Sometimes, true eggs are still created but are kept inside the mother’s body until they hatch and the infants emerge. This occurs in relatively few species of snakes, fish, cockroaches, scorpions, and various other animals. In seahorses, the eggs are transferred from the female to the male, and he carries them until they hatch. In mammals, the egg shells do not form at all, and the embryo is developed directly inside the mother, who provides it with nutrients from her body via a placenta except in marsupials, where the infant is born while still an embryo and nursed in a pouch. Vivipary requires much more energy from the mother than oviparity (egg-laying), but it allows longer and finer development which is restricted by eggs and so more complex offspring are possible. Vivipary leads naturally to parental involvement by teaching their offspring, allowing still more complex and specifically-adapted behavior to be learned. Oviparous animals are mostly born with all the knowledge and skills they need genetically wired into them, but a mammal can be taught. To varying extents, a mammal can therefore learn to live in a much greater range of environments than can a single species of oviparous animal.



  • Spartacus

    Ah this list made me hungry. Good stuff tho.

    • Notimpressed

      Finally. A non- American biased list. Looks like my suggestions are working; this website is improving in quality.

      • Flippant

        Looks like my suggestions are working

        Lmfaoooo!! :lol:

        • Baldguy

          Methinks it must be a French droid, such arrogance!

          • Flippant

            *in Luke voice* I’ve never seen such devotion in a droid before.

          • Obi Wan Kenobi

            these aren’t the droids your looking for.

      • GrammerNazi

        Trying to help baldguy find out which country you are from. If “Notimpressed” was the last thing a girl said to you, than that definitely rules out France. Are you Asian perhaps?

      • Lessimpressed…by_you!

        Idiot

      • People Against Notimpressed

        SHUT UP! You have got to be the most annoying person on this site.

      • diablo135

        Seriously?

        • Notimpressed

          Obviously some people can’t handle constructive criticism.

          • Anony

            it’s not really constructive if you say the same sh*t every time.

    • a

      First.

  • kevin

    Nice list. God I love eggs.

    • House M.D

      I wonder why they left out my eggs? I am a male and find them fascinating. What egg has a long tail and can swim? No other egg besides the male human eggs.

      • lawn

        You’re not really a doctor, are you?

        • Jimbo

          Ha! You made me lol.

        • Flippant

          Lol strangely(?) though, the Google Ad on this list is “Sperm Health is Important.” :D

  • Namae

    What a weird topic! Interesting anyway.

  • eric

    OK I had no idea that platypus and echidna layed eggs. That is just weird.

    • henihenhen

      Meh. not as weird as sweating milk. That’s just disgusting.

      • dotmatrix

        That’s what milk is, a specialized form of sweat. That means boobs are nothing but giant sweat glands. Hey guys, how do you like spending all your time thinking about giant sweat glands?

    • Flippant

      That is just weird.

      Lol yeah, anything Australian is just “weird” in general, I think. I know I’ve got weird eggs too. All it takes is for Maggy to log onto Listverse, and BOOM! I’m cyber-pregnant. Ovaries explode. *laffn* :lol:

      • Maggot

        Note to self: wear cyber-protection from now on.

        • Flippant

          Lol let me know if you need a hand with that, Maggy. I’ll make sure it’s all a snug fit for ya. *snapping sound – just not of gloves though* :P

  • moriaty

    Aww the poor octopus :(

    • mythomaniac

      Best mums in the world (apart from my mum) :)

      • Carpet Shark

        You have an egg-laying mum!

      • GrammerNazi

        First off I do not know how you compared an octopus with a mum. Seriously, a flower? And of all the nerve, you actually said you have the best mums in the world. Do you know the time and energy I put into growing the best mums? And to get on listverse and to see someone discredit my entire mum growing operation blows me away. Do you know how long I have been part of mum growers anonymous? 20+ years, I even get to see the founder once in a while. And just to set the record straight an octopus is not a mum. Octopuses grow in the ocean, mums grow in my flower garden, and the second I see an octopus in my flower garden impersonating and possibly eating my mums, I will kill it or catch it as a pet, give it 8 fly swatters and make it work for all the mums it ate.

        • Yafeelluck?

          Hahaha! Nice.

        • kevin

          I don’t know what your gender is, but I think I love you anyway. That was fantastic.

          • Flippant

            Lol phew! I’m so glad that I picked my crush correctly. Else it would just be.. awkward(er). :lol:

  • E.I. Blot

    Quite interestingly timed, given the Big Egg Hunt going on here in London. Those are definitely interesting eggs!

    Am I the only one squeamish at the insect eggs? I once saw a video of a wasp laying its eggs inside an ant and things haven’t been the same again. :-/

    • chris

      Parasitic eggs are probably the most disgusting, but especially those laid inside maggots and caterpillars and things. Ugh so awful.

    • Name

      Some are really awful, but others are pretty cool. The mud pot/potter wasp builds these cute little pots that it lays its eggs in.

  • Justin

    Thank you, a very enjoyable list

  • Tree

    The interestin’ n weird lists r back baby! I knew listverse couldnt post useless 1s for long :)

    • jo

      Nah, I think it’s good that they mixit up. Too much of one type of list gets boring. You need to have ones that are interesting mixed with ones that are bizarre and ones that are insightful.

  • Daw

    I don’t know why, but the image of a platypus curling its tail around its eggs to keep them warm is the cutest thing in the world.

  • segues

    Another good list, Kate.
    Synchronicitily (not a word, but it says what I mean), just a few days ago I read an article about a newly discovered legless amphibian and their eggs, which the mother protects.

  • derek

    I never notieced that dinosaur eggs are small. Well, small compared to the dinosaurs themselves. The shell fact is my favorite in this whole list :)

  • Metalwrath

    Great list, very informative and well written.

    The last entry, number 1, explains in few words why we mammals are today the superior family in the evolutionary process! ;) There should be a list explaining step by step all these different things which explain why we humans came on top in terms of intelligence… I’ve noticed that this observation isn’t understood by most people (hence a belief in God…).

    • mirabel

      Human evolution is a fascinating subject, but I’m sure a list would get flamed massively by fundamentalists. Pity, that.

      • g999

        Yeah, did you see the one on human similarities with animals last week? Wow there were a lot of angry comments there. About 50% of them basically said “how dare any list or evidence imply that humans aren’t supremely superior to all animals in every attribute possible!”

    • Arsnl

      Cuz belief is God is due to ignorance right? Troll much?

      • jer

        Belief in god IS due to ignorance. No trolling there

        • mom

          Come on now, children, none of that. Let’s all play nicely.

          • jer

            Sorry, mom.

      • Metalwrath

        Well, belief in God isn’t *systematically* due to ignorance, but there is a correlation between level of education, and religious belief. That is, the higher educated a group, the less religious they tend to be. Obviously, there are exceptions.
        But my first comment was specifically pointed at American believers. In Europe, most Christians accept evolution without a problem. Many American believers have a problem with that apparently. One of their arguments is “why are we the only ones who can build computers? It must be because of God!”. So yeah, people being amazed at how intellectually superior we are to animals often throw in God as an explanation.

        • segues

          There are some Americans, a very few (although the current media would have you believe otherwise), who have strict fundamentalist beliefs. The vast majority, however, even those of deeply held religious beliefs, accept evolution and whose religion, Catholicism for example, not only accepts but teaches it in their schools!
          It’s the mark of a lazy mind to accuse without foundation. I’ve never previously considered you to have a lazy mind.

          • Arsnl

            I’m sorry Segues, but the US will always be plagued by sweeping generalizations. But let’s be honest, every group of people will make stereotypical (borderline trollish comments).
            But I’m amused by the “yourepeens iz bethur then americans” comment. Mostly cuz i know how much bs it packs.
            A funny story: Wednesday i was in Spanish class (i study in a grande ecole- a type of higher education establishment-check wiki for a pompous definition). And the prof says well the americans should ban guns if they want mexico and colombia to have less violence. And i say’ well it’s not like drugs lords go into us shops and buy ak47s and grenades. And some of my colleagues jump on occasion and start saying: no no. You can totally buy machine guns and aks and whatever you need. Just go into a shop, and you’re set. And i ask: so did you go into a shop and try to buy something? No. Then wtf dude.

            For some people generalizations seem to give order to the world.

          • segues

            You’re right! It’s just too easy to use generalizations to explain those who differ (or so we believe) from us. Using such generalizations is, I maintain (but I don’t think you disagree on this) the mark of a lazy mind.

            re les grande ecoles, I’m familiar with the type of school. I’m not surprised you attend one. Congratulations.

        • Arsnl

          What you’re saying is just some stereotypes you throw in just for the sake of it.
          Belief is based on unproven things. You can’t believe the sun exists. It’s there (well not now cuz its midnight in france). So beliefs cannot be rational. Once you start filling in the blanks with what you want to see it’s no longer logical.

          And futhermore Gos is a concept. You cant say belief in friendship or kindness or justice or liberty, or equality or fraternity or the republic to be ignorant you? They are concepts. Ideas. You cannot disprove them. They are not objects (physical, mathematical etc).

          And last but not least, church attendance seems to grow with educated people in the US…and France.
          http://www.economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2001/HIER1913.pdf (pdf file).
          So again. Please don’t be a troll. It’s already an electoral year. I have to put up with Marine’s bs. I need not more coming from this neck of the woods.

          • Flippant

            Please don’t be a troll.

            Oh noes! :cry:

    • Triploblast

      Sorry to nitpick, but that post made me cringe.
      Mammals aren’t /superior/. They’re better at being mammals than any other taxon is, but that doesn’t make them superior. It makes them well-adapted to their ecological niches.

      As a zoology prof of mine once put it, “nothing is as good at being a hagfish as a hagfish”. Each organism is well adapted for their specific “role” in the world — think of evolution as a process of radiating outwards, not climbing from bottom to top.

      • Magnumto

        Profound. Thanks for the “radiating out” imagery, I’ll have to consider that. On the surface, though, the “bottom to top” analogy probably comes from a “simple to complex” mindset.

        • Triploblast

          Yes it probably does, and organisms did evolve from simple to complex, so I can see why people use it for simplicity’s sake, but it also creates a source of confusion for people who aren’t super familiar with how evolution works. Such as the error of thinking certain taxa are “better evolved” than others. I don’t blame people who mistakenly think that–it’s the terminology we use (and the lack of emphasis on evolution in most high school biology classes) that creates that confusion.

  • wait octopuses are not fish not even remotely related

    • kevin

      Umm yeah, the list doesn’t say they are the same anywhere. Besides, taxonomically, there is no single group recognized as “fish”.

      • Julius

        It kinda does say that: “Although some fish, like the octopus, will stay to protect the eggs, most have nothing more to do with them and leave them to develop on their own.”

        • kevin

          Ah, I see now! I had interpreted it as “Some fish will stay to protect their eggs, just like octopuses do.” You know, like in #2: “unlike most birds and reptiles, while the egg is still inside a mother monotreme” it’s not saying monotremes are birds or reptiles, just comparing them.

          • the syntax is weird… reads to me like its saying that they are that thing

          • segues

            kevin, you read it correctly. It says “…some fish will behave as the octopus behaves, and protect their eggs”. It is awkwardly worded as the many, almost universal (if the comments are to be believed) misinterpretations prove!

  • Flippant

    most fish do not have sex

    Lol and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the female candiru fish goes swimming up men’s dangly bits – it’s the only d*ck she ever gets. Sad times for a fish indeed. :P
    _______________________________

    Great list again, Kate.. thanks! :)

    • Flippant

      Corrected: most fish do not have séx :P

  • Arsnl

    Chicken(hen) eggs are the best…r*pe eggs. Bon appetit!

  • Lenny

    The insect egg photo made me barf.

    Good list!

  • Will Trame

    Unless I’m mistaken, the bird eggs in picture #7 belongs to the red wing blackbird…a very obnoxious territorial species. Fascinating list; all of a sudden I’m hungry. By pure coincidence, it’s breakfast time.

  • Esteban

    This list was too American!

    • kiwilover

      How so? The spelling was British, and none of the categories was exclusive to any one country except #2, which was Australian. I’m guessing the author is a Kiwi.

      • Flippant

        I’m guessing the author is a Kiwi.

        Well, “Kate Mulcahy” is Jamie’s nom de plume.. but we’re not really supposed to talk about that. So.. shhhh! :D

        • kiwilover

          Seriously? O.o

          • Flippant

            Lol nooo.. I’m just stirring. ;)

      • Flippant

        The spelling was British

        Ummz.. what do you mean, Kiwilover? I just went through the text and, by all indications, the author is American. There’s no British spelling at all.

        American spelt words
        (in order of appearance)

        cannibalize
        unfertilized
        fertilized
        colored
        fossilized
        fertilization

        The only thing that possibly points towards it not being written by an American is the use of the word “kilometers” (they would automatically use “miles”).. but an explanation for that could be that the author was following the measurement type from their source.

        Sherlock is dissapoint, KL! :P

        • Flippant

          disappoint*, even. :\

        • kiwilover

          Oh god, that right there is how Americanised my spelling is becoming. I didn’t even notice ‘color’!

          *hangs head in shame*

          Kate or Jamie or whoever had done other lists, and they’ve all been in metric. I don’t trust myself to check the spelling in them though :(

          • jo

            The one on human attributes found in animals had some British spelling. I’m confused now.

    • Lenny

      I think this may have been a joke.

  • Johan

    Stringray eggs used to(still does) creep me out. They look like huge flesh eating bugs ready to rip your face off and chew on your eyeballs.

  • Analie

    I’ve become suddenly interested with an Echidna egg :D Snooki from Jersey shore is breeding BTW…

  • Planet Earth

    Interesting list good work Kate :)

  • zoethaeque

    It’s said that Maleo, Macrocephalon maleo, a bird endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia, sized only 55 cm, laid egg with size about 5-7 times chicken’s. It is said the Maleo will be blacked out after laying egg (singular, thanks G she only laid one every time)

  • oouchan

    This is pretty high up there on weird topics, but it’s quite interesting. The shark one was most impressive.

    Neat list.

  • Nick

    Bravo!

  • sad_muso

    Great list, thanks author!

  • enid

    This is the first list that has made me really hungry.

    *om nom nom*

  • vanowensbody

    Good list

  • MT

    Whats for breakfast? I know….Scrambled Eggs!

    • Lenny

      Which ones though? Insect or amphibian? ;)

  • AussieNik

    The only good eggs are the eggs in my balls lol!!! Or a nice fried egg with vegemite on toast! None of that Kiwi inferior garbage food! Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi!!!

  • interesting list, I remember finding “mermaid purses” on the beach as a kid. It seemed like a frequent occurance, though it may be that the few times we saw them stood out.

  • TheItalian

    This list is too animal centric… Nah, great list!

  • Zair

    Really weird topic but thats what makes it so interesting great job :)

  • Melly

    The #9. octopus eggs makes me sad… :(

  • empire1971

    This list is to Pacific Ocean related……

    Seriously, very nice list.

    • empire1971

      Too I mean

  • mom424

    Good list but kind of too generic – I was hoping for specific examples instead of generalizations. All of this information was covered in elementary/high school science/biology class – a rare giant salamander egg from Tibet wouldn’t be. Not that the list isn’t still great; interesting subject matter, nicely written and compiled. Just not what I was anticipating. It could just be me – maybe I just paid way too much attention back in the day. :)

    I did not know about the chopped up sponge reforming itself – it’s like something out of a movie – La Magra anyone? From before vampires got all sparkly.

    • dizit

      From the list title I also expected 10 specific eggs.

  • diablo135

    I thogut this was going to be about Fabergé eggs and things like that. How worng I was.

  • dizit

    Although an interesting list, I found some incomplete information.

    The female Octopus always dies after guarding her eggs, not usually from predation but from having starved herself to death. Female Octopods die at 3 to 5 years of age, directly following the incubation of their first, and only, clutch of eggs (considering they lay approximately 100,00 eggs once is enough).

    Sharks, depending upon species, have many methods of reproduction.

    Most sharks use Ovoviviparity, wherein the eggs develop and hatch inside the mother. The eggs hatch inside the mother and the pups continue to be nourished by the yolk of the egg and some fluids from the mother. The young are then born alive and fully functional.

    Some species practice a form of cannibalism known as oophagy, which means that they will eat the remaining eggs that have not hatched. Consuming the unhatched eggs eliminates competition in the womb, allowing the hatched pups to grow and survive.

    Other methods include giving birth to live young which have developed from embryos attached to placenta, laying eggs (then abandoned) in secluded places, and asexual reproduction.

    • dizit

      I forgot to plan my post. That censored word is as exual. Sorry :(

      • Flippant

        Ahhh.. I didn’t think of that either. I guess that means that Candiru post above would have been censored too. Thanks, Dizz. ;)

        • dizit

          hahahaha Glad to be of service!

  • Triploblast

    This was well-written, and by someone who obviously knows what they are talking about. As a zoologist, I can attest that all this information is accurate, and nicely simplified into layman’s terms. Life is endlessly fascinating, isn’t it? :)

  • Shae

    Why no Mammal eggs?

    >______>

    • Maggot

      look at me, I’m a dumbass!

      That quote seemed more appropriate for you, so I took the liberty of attributing it to you. I hope you don’t mind. Read the list next time.

      • Flippant

        Lol everything looks under control here. Nothing more that I could have added. :D

  • Majaev

    Where was the Easter Egg ! Made from milk chocolate and laid by a rabbit. Surely one of Nature’s miracles.

    • Cadbury

      Nature’s Miracle, my ass! Filthy, basket-slinging, slack-tailed, puddle jumper stole those eggs from ME!

      • Majaev

        How about the mysterious Barker’s Egg. The chalky white oval shaped ones that dogs sometimes lay. The ones that dissappear in a puff of white smoke when they meet the spinningblades of the lawnmower on a dry day.

        • Flippant

          The ones that dissappear in a puff of white smoke…

          Majaev, you’re supposed to pick those up before you mow the lawn (think of it like an pre-mow ritualistic Easter Egg Hunt). It’s not good to be breathing in that.. that.. that sh*t. :D

  • skeeter

    #8-*octopi. Or is “octopuses” acceptable now?

    • skeeter

      #9, also

      • skeeter

        “Although some fish, like the octopus…” It almost sounds like octopi (or octopus) are fish. God, I hope no one thinks I’m being a jerk- I just thought it sounded funny.

    • octomom

      “Octopi” isn’t correct, even though some people use it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus#Etymology_and_pluralization

  • Jimbo

    I don’t like to poke fun at people who write these lists, but did this writer really just call an octopus a fish?

    • Name2

      No.

  • derp

    “Although some fish, like the octopus” octopus a fish now?

    • kevin

      No, it’s just ambiguous syntax. Read it as “Although some fish, similar to the octopus” instead of “Although some fish, such as the octopus” and you’ll be fine.

  • Jesus

    Everyone knows the octopus is a bird.

  • sammy

    I like these sorts of lists that are kind of scientific but easy for non-scientific ppl to understand. It means us regular folks can learn something :)

  • ulysses

    Nice list. Now excuse me while I go make some scrambled eggs…

  • bbgrr

    eunuch.

  • CaptainSMAW

    This list turned out more interesting than I previously expected. Good job.

  • Borten

    This list is too egg oriented. When are you going to realise there are things other than eggs in the world listverse?

  • Reblogged this on bridgesburning and commented:
    A little fun Friday Facts

  • Marianne

    Cool list, I love the science of reproduction – I only got one module on it in my entire degree course : (

  • ringtailroxy

    Nice list, but needs a little more elaboration.

    3.) Amphibian Eggs.

    Not all hatched amphibians are called “tadpoles.” I believ that is reserved for frogs & toads only. Salamanders, newts, and caecilians round out the amphibious animals… and a baby salamander is known as a “mudpuupy”, a baby newt is an “eft, and a baby caecilian is just plan amazing.

    1.) Vivipary.

    There are a few reptiles that practice this: boa constrictors, all vipers, and Australian skinks.

    Lastly, a “special mention” should be made for centipedes. They are actually very maternal, and protect their brood even after they hatch.

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2012/2212148326_96

    • Name

      I don’t think lizards and things count. yhey have ovivipary, not vivipary, which is where the egg shell or membrane temporarily develops inside the female. In true vivipary, there is no shell.

      Also, who would have thought of centipedes as maternal? That’s so cool!

  • bird eggs?!?!

  • Lifeschool

    Excellent list – fascinating! Glad you didn’t include ‘human eggs’ as a smart ass bonus. :) When I think of egg layers I think of Turtles for some reason, they certainly have a hard job of it!

  • Chloe

    I’m just confused as to why in number two, the eggs are described as being white and spherical while the eggs pictured are yellow-brownish and oval shaped. Otherwise, fascinating article!

  • nootaoolah

    Broad and generalizing with a number of errors starting with shark reproduction. Poor list sorry to say.

  • Allicat

    This wasn’t a list of fascinating eggs, twas a list of egg types (except for the shark; those eggs are awesome). IMHO a fascinating list would include things like the microscopic male whale worm, who lives attached to his much larger wife, fertilizing her eggs while still feeding off the yolk of his egg for the rest of his life, or the Kiwi, who lays as egg almost as big as her body (poor girl!).

  • ellimist

    hmm.. I thought sharks were ovo-viviparous (meaning eggs hatch inside mother’s body and embryo(s) develop and then the mother gives birth to them)

    • It depends on the species of shark:

      Hammerhead Sharks, the Blue Shark, Bull Shark and Smoothhounds are viviparous shark species; the female keeps her embryos inside her oviduct, feeding them from a placenta, until they are ready to be born.

      The majority of sharks are ovoviviparous. Dogfish Sharks, Angelsharks and Mako Sharks are common examples of ovoviviparous fish. Ovivipary, is a mode of reproduction in animals in which embryos develop inside eggs that are retained within the mother’s body until they are ready to hatch.

      Oviparous shark species include the Horn Shark, Port Jackson Shark, Zebra Shark and Bullhead Shark. Oviparous means producing eggs that hatch within the female’s body without obtaining nourishment from it.

      Asexual reproduction is also known as parthenogenesis. It refers to the female’s being able to create and sustain a shark pup without a male shark and without ever having mated. This has only ever been observed in the cases of sharks in captivity, but may well occur in the wild where there is a severe shortage of male sharks.

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