One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of an animal) bringing forth live young that have developed inside the body of the parent.
- ‘Females are viviparous and give birth to a single litter of up to five offspring.’
- ‘The viviparous quadrupeds - literally means four-footed mammals bearing living offspring.’
- ‘These may be viviparous, in which case the mother's body provides nourishment to the embryo, or ovoviviparous, in which case the eggs develop without additional nourishment inside the mother.’
- ‘Depending on environmental conditions, it can shift from viviparous to oviparous reproduction, with production of encysted and dehydrated embryos.’
- ‘If only these creatures had been able to develop a viviparous capability, so that they could give birth to their babies at sea, they would have an assured future.’
- 1.1Botany (of a plant) reproducing from buds that form plantlets while still attached to the parent plant, or from seeds that germinate within the fruit.
- ‘Evidence of a carotenoid mutant of rice was suggested by the phenotype of several mutants for which viviparous seeds germinated into albino seedlings.’
- ‘Two new viviparous mutants showed some signs of precocious germination but did not emerge fully on the cob.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin viviparus (from vivus ‘alive’ + -parus ‘bearing’) + -ous.
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