Viviparous Fish

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Viviparous Fish


fish that give birth to more or less completely formed young fry, as distinguished from fish that spawn eggs. Most selachii (the majority of sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, and giant rays) are viviparous fish. Among bony fish, viviparity is a characteristic of eelpouts (Zoarces viviparus], bass (Sebastes), Baikal oil-fish (Comephorus baicalensis), many fish of the family Cyprinodontidae (four-eyed fish— Anableps tetrophthalmus], and some freshwater fish of the family Hemirhamphidae.

Fertilization of all viviparous fish is internal. In strictly viviparous fish the embryo is attached to and nourished by the mother’s body (for example, the smoothhound). In ovoviviparous fish, which comprise the majority of viviparous fish, the ova are in the mother’s body but are not connected to it. The ova of these fish develop by feeding on the yolk. The developmental period of the fry in the ovaries or in modified oviducts ranges from two or three weeks in cyprinodonts to several months in sharks. Sharks give birth to one or several large fry, measuring up to 70 cm long. Most bony fish bear tens or hundreds of fry—for example, the Murmansk sea bass gives birth to as many as 350,000 small larvae, measuring up to 8 mm long. Viviparous fish of the family Poecilidae, such as guppies and swordtails, are raised in aquariums.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Reproductive adaptations among viviparous fishes (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae).
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Trade-off between reproductive effort and adult survival in oviparous and viviparous fishes. Can.
Studies on reproduction, rate of development and growth in some viviparous fishes in the genus Sebastes.
Postzygotic maternal influence and maternal embryonic relationship of viviparous fishes. Am.
Four new species of viviparous fishes, genus Poeciliopsis, from northwestern Mexico.