Many animals lay eggs, but do you know which ones? Give pupils an insight into the animal kingdom, including the classification of different species and an understanding of their habitats.
Pupils should understand where eggs come from and appreciate the differences between animals that lay eggs and those that don’t.
Animals that lay eggs:
- Birds are warm blooded and lay eggs. Most have feathers and can fly.
- Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates. Most lay eggs, have scales and breathe using oxygen in the water. They swim in the sea (marine fish) or in lakes and rivers (freshwater fish). Most fish share common features, but there are interesting exceptions: catfish have no scales, some sharks give birth to live young and lungfish breathe air.
- Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates and can live on land and in water. Amphibians lay eggs.
- Reptiles use the heat of the sun to keep their blood warm. Most reptiles are oviparous - they produce eggs.
- Insects are the biggest group of living things, apart from bacteria. Most lay eggs. There are millions of different types on the planet but they all have six legs and a hard exoskeleton. Not all insects are tiny - the Goliath Beetle, for example, weighs up to 100g. Most, but not all, insects have wings. Many, such as the butterfly, undergo dramatic metamorphosis during the course of their short lives.
Mammals that lay eggs
Mammals give birth to live young, are warm-blooded (can regulate their own body temperature) and are vertebrates with internal skeletons.
Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs rather than bear live young. Three species of monotremes still exist: the platypus and the short-beaked and long-beaked echidna.