What creatures do not lay eggs
Do mermaids lay eggs or give birth to young people?
It depends on her tail, the more likely and realistic tail is a dolphin or dugong (manatee) tail instead of a fish tail in which the mermaid would give birth to a young life.
The fishtail (or even the reptilian tail) would be less likely. As AndreiROM said, this would likely make the rest of the creature fewer mammals and therefore fewer humans, so no semi-human aquatic beauty. In that case, they would lay eggs.
With only forelegs and no hind legs, I would guess they would stay underwater and lay soft-shelled eggs. If they lay hard-shell eggs on land, this could explain what they are doing on the surface when they are spotted by sailors and fishermen.
While it is not relevant to the question, but rather to the context of the question, I just want to say one last thing as a side note.
How would this species ever survive or even develop with only asexual reproduction?I suggest that the species be of one sex that has a unique sexual system that allows for gene sharing (a simple one would be that they just lay eggs and then fertilize each other's eggs. Some become clones and some mingle or you could control fertilization to remove the chances of cloning.)
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