The world's smallest species of snake, as thin as a spaghetti noodle and small enough to rest comfortably on a U.S. quarter, has been identified on the Caribbean island of Barbados.
The species, with adults averaging just under four inches in length, was discovered by Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State. They list the discovery in the journal Zootaxa.
Hedges found the new snake -- a type of threadsnake -- in a tiny forest fragment on the eastern side of Barbados. He believes the species is rare because most of its potential habitat has been replaced by buildings and farms. "Habitat destruction is a major threat to biodiversity throughout the world," he said. "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."