Oviparous animals are those that lay eggs, as opposed to giving birth to live young. This is a common method of reproduction among reptiles, fish, and some birds. Many oviparous animals have a hard shell that protects the embryo from the outside world. However, some oviparous animals, such as sharks, have a softer egg case that is left to fend for itself. Regardless of the type of egg, oviparous animals generally do not provide any parental care after the eggs are laid. The young must fend for themselves once they hatch. While this may seem like a disadvantage, oviparous reproduction has several benefits. First, it allows the parents to produce a large number of offspring at once. Second, it reduces the risk of injury to the parent during childbirth. Finally, it eliminates the need for the parents to actively care for their young. As a result, oviparous reproduction is a common strategy among animals that live in hostile environments.