Showing posts with label homo florensis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homo florensis. Show all posts

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hobbit Still Stirring Things Up

Homo-floresiensis A.K.A. the Hobbit will be starring in its very own special issue of The Journal of Human Evolution

Some of the biggest findings are evidence of close ties to Australopithecus, A famous speculative Bigfoot ancestor.

Combined with other anatomical evidence, the results ruled out Asian Homo erectus as the progenitor. Both jawbones shared characteristics with Australopithecus and early Homo, and were closer to them than the Dmanisi skeletons were. The ancestral hobbits must have left Africa before the hominins who reached Dmanisi, Brown and Maeda reasoned.

Another big one would be the redefinition of the genus Homo.

“What will come from this is either the redefining of the genus Homo or the argument that this species has so many unique characteristics and so many features shared with australopithecines that it probably belongs in its own genus,” Brown tells HES.

Discovery Magazine has a great blog dedicated to the Hobbit here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hobbit Wars

Here at the Big Foot Lunch Club we have a high interest in Homo floresiensis. Homo floresiensis ("Flores Man"; nicknamed Hobbit) is a possible species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body and brain and for its survival until relatively recent times. It was named after the Indonesian island of Flores on which the remains were found.

This small bipedal hominid lived among us over 1 million years ago. More significant, as we declared in an earlier post, it is an entirely different species than us, Homo sapiens.

As Bigfoot enthusiast we like the idea of other bipedal hominids living among us. In another post we also suggested Hobbit’s feet were more structurally similar to Bigfoot’s than humans.

A new Time Magazine article declares there is opposition to the different species theory below is an excerpt from the article. To read the whole thing click here.

Inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Flores used to tell stories of a separate race of little people called the ebu gogo, 3-ft.-tall, hairy human-like creatures that hid in the island's many limestone caves.
That changed in a paper published in the current issue of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The PNAS team closely examined the one almost complete skull unearthed at Flores and say they found no evidence that it was belonged to anyone but a modern human.
The original authors of the Nature paper — Peter Brown and Michael Morwood, both of the University of New England in Australia — aren't about to surrender their belief in a new species. In an email, Brown says that the PNAS paper "provides absolutely no evidence that the unique combination of features found in Homo floresiensis are found in any modern human."
Colin Groves, an Australian biological anthropologist who is an author on an upcoming paper in the Journal of Human Evolution that discounts the microcephaly hypothesis, says the PNAS team subtly shaped the evidence to fit their conclusion: that the hobbit was just a developmentally stunted human. Henry Gee, a senior editor at Nature who was responsible for overseeing the publication of the original Flores paper, concedes that the PNAS paper is "very interesting" but says the authors "cherry-pick the evidence [they] like."

The two sides quickly descend from debating the finer points of human fossils to slagging off on each other's ethics. If only the Flores debate could be so clearly decided. What's certain is that the scientific stakes are extremely high: if the Flores find is really a separate species, then the history of human evolution will have to be rewritten.

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