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Birth

1

Birth, also known as parturition, is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring.

In biology, offspring are the young born of living organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms.

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2

In mammals, the process is initiated by hormones which cause the muscular walls of the uterus to contract, expelling the fetus at a developmental stage when it is ready to feed and breathe.

A hormone is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behaviour.

Mammals are any vertebrates within the class Mammalia, a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles and birds by the possession of a neocortex, hair, three middle ear bones and mammary glands.

The uterus or womb is a major female hormone-responsive secondary sex organ of the reproductive system in humans and most other mammals.

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3

In some species the offspring is precocial and can move around almost immediately after birth but in others it is altricial and completely dependent on parenting.

In biology, altricial species are those in which the young are incapable of moving around on their own soon after hatching or being born.

In biology, precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching.

4

In marsupials, the fetus is born at a very immature stage after a short gestational period and develops further in its mother's pouch.

Gestation is the period of development during the carrying of an embryo, fetus, or reptilian embryo inside viviparous animals.

Marsupials are any members of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia.

5

It is not only mammals that give birth.

6

Some reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates carry their developing young inside them.

7

Some of these are ovoviviparous, with the eggs being hatched inside the mother's body, and others are viviparous, with the embryo developing inside her body, as in mammals.

Among animals, viviparity is development of the embryo inside the body of the parent, eventually leading to live birth.

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