Did you know the Barbados threadsnake is the smallest snake in the world?
The average length of this snake is only 3.9 inches (10 cm).
The Barbados threadsnake was identified in 2008 by herpetologist S. Blair Hedges. It is only found on the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Anguilla. Hedges described this snake as "about as wide as a spaghetti noodle."
Scientists think this is about as small as snakes can possibly get. Why? Because all snakes are predators, and baby snakes have to be a certain size to be able to find and overpower the appropriate prey animals. Because of the small size of adult threadsnakes, and the need for the babies to be a certain minimum size, the females lay only one egg, which is huge in proportion to the adult female's body. When the baby hatches, it can already be half the length of the adult female.
Here is a romantic aspect of this: Hedges named the snake Tetracheilostoma carlae, in honor of his wife Carla Ann Hass, who also happens to be a herpetologist. If I ever discover a new species of snake, I'll name it in honor of Trish.
- Barbados threadsnake - Blair Hedges, Penn State, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons
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