Adult timber rattlesnake coiled around its young


Ovoviviparous animals produce eggs inside their body, but then give birth to live young. The eggs hatch out inside the mother and the offspring stay within her for a time. She later gives birth to the them. While they are within her, the young are fed on the yolk of the egg, and not directly from the mother's body. Ovoviviparity is a special type of viviparity. Some fish, amphibians and reptiles reproduce this way, for instance the sand tiger shark.

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • What on Earth...? 2009 What on Earth...? 2009

    Watch the year's highlights from the BBC's exploration of the planet's hidden corners and rarest creatures: from the turquoise seas of the South Pacific to the Lost Land of the Volcano.

  • Garden wildlife Garden wildlife

    From badgers to butterflies and frogs to foxes, garden wildlife is both varied and surprising.