World's smallest snake identified in Barbados

August 4, 2008 3:22:42 PM PDT
U.S. scientists say they have discovered the world's smallest species of snake, with full-grown adults typically measuring less than four inches long. An evolutionary biologist at Penn State University says the tiny brown threadsnake was found beneath a rock on the eastern side of Barbados. Blair Hedges says the Barbadian snake is the smallest of the more than 3,100 known snake species -- so small that it can curl up on a quarter.

Hedges is calling it Leptotyphlops carlae. It will be introduced to the scientific world in the journal "Zootaxa" tomorrow.

Islands often host odd-sized creatures because they're usually inhabited by a less diverse set of species than continents.

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