This accolade of the smallest snake in the world goes to the threadsnakes, a group of earthworm-like reptiles that prey on the larvae of ants and termites.

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The smallest of them all is probably the Barbados threadsnake (Tetracheilostoma carlae), which measures no more than 10cm long and is as thin as a strand of spaghetti. Smaller snakes tend to be proportionately shorter and fatter than their larger counterparts, but threadsnakes buck that trend, perhaps because of their burrowing lifestyle.

The result is that there is little room in the body cavity for the development of their eggs. Indeed, threadsnakes produce a clutch size of just one, and that single egg is itself long and thin to make maximum use of the space available.

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Main image: A Barbados threadsnake slithers on the soil surface. © Mariano Sayno/Getty

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