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Professor Longlegs

Gonzalo Giribet gets excited over daddy longlegs. These creatures are spiders with long, thin legs. Gonzalo Giribet is a biologist who searches all around the world for daddy longlegs that are so small you can barely see them. A biologist is a scientist who studies plants and animals.

Giribet has collected more than 160 types of these tiny, crawly creatures. He says his research is not over.

During the next 10 years, Giribet hopes to find most types of daddy longlegs from the group of spiders called Cyphophthalmi (SY fuh thal my).

Giribet, who is in his early 30s, recently went on a trip for six weeks to New Zealand and Australia. He and another scientist went to find more of these spiders. Most daddy longlegs are less than a quarter-inch long. That is smaller than the tip of a new eraser on your pencil. These spiders are hard to find because they are so small and they blend in well with dirt and leaves.

Giribet thinks that after his work is done, he will know about 240 kinds of these creatures. Then Gonzalo Giribet will be even more excited about daddy longlegs!