This chapter explores the reproduction phenomenon among invertebrate animals. In parallel with viviparous vertebrates, most invertebrates—annelid worms, cnidarians, echinoderms, mollusks, arthropods, and even some plants—contain at least some species that derive nourishment from either planktons or egg yolk reserves, and give birth to live offspring after having brooded their larvae internally. In addition to internal brooders, female, hermaphrodite, or male brooding parents carry their developing young on the outside of their body, or carry their larvae in special off-body nests or capsules. However, due to some evolutionary transitions, various invertebrate groups have restructured: from planktotrophy to lecithotrophy; from off-body, to on-body, and finally, to within-body brooding; and from off-body larval gestation without parental care to on-body brooding by males.
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