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In most cases, the eggs are left inside the shed cuticle to develop, but some species attach them to nearby substrate.The eggs hatch after no more than 14 days, with the young already possessing their full complement of adult cells.Mating occurs during the molt with the eggs being laid inside the shed cuticle of the female and then covered with sperm.
The name Tardigrada (meaning "slow stepper") was given three years later by the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani.
The mouth opens into a triradiate, muscular, sucking pharynx.
The stylets are lost when the animal molts, and a new pair is secreted from a pair of glands that lie on either side of the mouth.
Although some species are parthenogenic, both males and females are usually present, each with a single gonad located above the intestine.
Two ducts run from the testis in males, opening through a single pore in front of the anus.