Animals That Lay Eggs, And They’re Not Even Birds!

It’s no secret that birds (and even fish) lay eggs. But did you know some animals lay eggs, too?

Read on to discover some egg-bearing critters.

1. Alligators

The American Alligator can measure up to 15 feet long and weigh 1,000 pounds! This large reptile likes to hang out in slow-moving water and prefers to dine on fish, turtles, small mammals, snakes, and birds.

Female alligators breed when they reach about 6 feet long or 10 to 12 years old. After she has mated, she builds a huge nest (up to 10 feet wide) out of plants and decomposing vegetation. 

Once the nest is ready, she will lay between 35 and 90 eggs. She then covers her clutch with vegetation to keep them warm. The eggs will incubate for 65 days.

Fun Fact: The temperature of the nest determines the gender of the baby alligators. Nests above 93 degrees Fahrenheit will produce male alligators. Nests below 86 degrees Fahrenheit will produce female alligators. In between temps will deliver a mixture of both male and female.

2. Turtles

There are around 310 species of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins in the world. And they ALL lay eggs! Turtles that live in the sea and land-dwelling tortoises dig large holes in the sand to deposit their eggs. Females are very picky about where they lay their eggs, as they have to be protected from predators long enough to hatch. 

Sea turtles come out of the ocean to build a nest and lay up to 120 eggs. Once she covers the eggs up, she returns to the ocean. About two months later, the baby turtles hatch and must dig their way out of the sandy nest and make their way to the ocean where they will grow and mature. 

Fun Fact: Female tortoises can lay fertilised eggs up to four years after mating!

3. Frogs 

There are more than 5,000 species of frogs found all over the world, except the Antarctic (it’s too cold). Most frogs and toads lay their eggs in a moist, wet environment. They do this because frog eggs do not have a shell, so they dry out very quickly. 

Some species of frogs that live in the rainforests will lay their eggs under leaves above water. When the tadpoles hatch they fall into the water where they can develop into little froglets. Other species will carry their eggs on their back until they hatch. 

Fun Fact: The male Darwin frog actually swallows the eggs and keeps them in his vocal sac until they hatch!

4. Platypus 

This funny critter is the only mammal that has a bill and one of two mammal species that lay eggs. These egg-laying mammals are called monotremes.

The Duck-billed platypus lives in eastern Australia. It has a torpedo-shaped furry body, strong legs built for digging, small eyes, webbed feet, a flattened tail, and of course, a soft bill.

The platypus can weigh up to 6.6 pounds.

The female platypus burrows inside the ground of a riverbank when she is ready to lay her eggs. She seals herself in her tunnel rooms to lay from 1 to 3 eggs. She will place her eggs between her rump and her tail to keep them warm. After about 10 days, the eggs hatch, then the bean-size babies nurse for three to four months inside their burrows.

Fun Fact: By the time the babies are weaned from their mother’s milk, they can swim on their own. 

5. Echidna

Also known as the Spiny Anteater, the echidna (pronounced i-kid-na) is the other mammal in the monotreme family. This critter has spines and short fur that help keep it warm. It can weigh up to 13.5 pounds. 

After the female has mated, she will lay one rubbery, soft-shelled egg. She places her egg in her pouch where it can be kept warm and safe. After about 10 days the baby echidna hatches. The baby is called a “puggle.” Newborn echidnas are hairless and about the size of a jellybean. 

Fun Fact: Puggles stay with their moms for about a year. 

Eggs. They’re Not Just for Birds!

Who knew there were so many critters that lay eggs? If you found this post egg-cellent, then drop us a line in the comment section. We love to hear from fellow Smarty Pants!

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