Rare footage of one of Earth's smallest snakes

As slim as spaghetti and shorter than a pencil, one of the world’s smallest snakes has been filmed feeding on its Caribbean island home of Martinique for what is thought to be the first time

UPDATED 7 Nov 2016: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the featured snake species was a new discovery. This is not the first time the species has been documented, but it is thought to be the first time its feeding behaviour has been filmed. The article has now been updated and we apologise for any confusion.

This exclusive clip reveals one of the world’s smallest known snakes as it tucks in to a meal of young ants. The snake is just 10cm long and as slim as a strand of spaghetti.

The footage was captured by the Planet Earth II team, aided by scientists Maël Dewynter and Blair Hedges who have been studying the species found on Martinique and surrounding islands. It is thought that this is the first time that this threadsnake's feeding behaviour has been captured on camera.

Dwarfed by most other creatures, the threadsnakes on Martinique spend much of their time below ground hiding from harm, but despite their size are themselves voracious predators. Easily small enough to slither into ant or termite nests, they can take advantage of the numerous eggs and larvae to be found in a colony.

On an island where competition for food can be fierce, it pays to make the most of what is abundant – the snakes' small size is an enormous advantage.

UK viewers can tune in to Planet Earth II, which begins Sunday 6 November on BBC One at 20:00 GMT.

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