August 3, 2008

Tiniest Snake Discovered in Barbados

The smallest snake known to man has been discovered on the Caribbean island of Barbados, a U.S. expert says.

Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, came across the tiny species in a forest in the east of Barbados.

The snake has a width similar to a piece of spaghetti and can fit on a U.S. quarter.

Hedges said it is possible the snake is hard to find because much of its habitat has been developed into farms and buildings.

Habitat destruction is a major threat to biodiversity throughout the world. The Caribbean is particularly vulnerable because it contains an unusually high percentage of endangered species and, because these animals live on islands, they have nowhere to go when they lose their habitat, he said in a release.