Saturday, December 20, 2008

Latest on the "Hobbit" - New Species theory reinforced

The latest round of research on the "Liang Bua hominins (Homo floresiensis)," known worldwide as the "hobbits" of Flores island, published by Karen L. Baaba and Kieran P. McNulty in the Journal of Human Evolution, reinforces the view that these people constituted a separate species, and were not the result of dwarfism or microcephaly in an insular population of modern humans. A study of cranial size and shape across a variety of primates, living and extinct, indicates "LB1 [the only cranial specimen from Floes - MB] best fits predictions for a small specimen of fossil Homo but not the for a small modern human."
COMMENT: This business will not be resolved until we have more cranial specimens from Flores, but I've always felt the separate species advocates had the best of the argument.

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