Smallest Possible (Less Than Four Inches) Snake Discovered

The world’s smallest snake and perhaps the smallest possible snake has been discovered on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

At about ten centimeters long , the diminutive reptile might easily be mistaken for an earthworm, and could comfortably curl up on a U.S. quarter, researchers say.

[news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/62201687.html]

A second new species, only slightly larger, was found on the neighboring island of St. Lucia [travel.nationalgeographic.com/places/countries/country_stlucia.html] .

Genetic tests and studies of the snakes’ physical features identified the animals as new species, said biologist Blair Hedges of Penn State university, who led the study team.

Both new species belong to a little-known group of known as thread snakes—also called worm snakes and slender blind snakes. Short and slender, thread snakes burrow in the soil and live on a diet of insect larvae.

According to the experts, the smallest snakes, also calls Leptotyphlops carlae—may be on the verge of extinction. It appears to be live on only a few square kilometers of forest on Barbados, where almost all the original forests have been cleared.

This study will be published in the journal Zootaxa.

Source: National Geographic News

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