You may have heard of the Hobbit people whose remains were discovered on Flores Island in Indonesia not so long ago. Originally these were claimed to be ancient human ancestors but now a new study says that these creatures were NOT Homo sapiens.
The species is officially known as Homo floresensis and over 18k bones have been discovered from this hominid. Since their discovery they have been a mystery and there’s been all kinds of speculation about how they came to dwell on Flores Island and what they were. Most recently researchers have reexamined the bones and they’ve taken high resolution images of them. The results of that research have been published in the Journal of Human Evolution and those results are changing what we thought we knew about these hominids.
For one thing the new research seems to prove that the Hobbits were NOT small humans with some sort of genetic disease that resulted in them being so small. The claim has been made in the past that the Hobbits were descendants of Homo erectus who came to the island of Java. And the claim has also been made that the Hobbits became much smaller than H. erectus due to their living on an island in isolation. In fact SOME species do tend to get smaller if they live on islands in isolation BUT NOT ALL so that assumption doesn’t always hold true.
The Hobbits are believed to have lived 16kya and stood about 3 1/2 feet tall. They are thought to have had an average weight of about 55 pounds (25 kilos). It has been the believe also that they had small brains and large teeth, no chins, and receding foreheads. And compared to their apparent short legs it has been assumed that they had large feet. All of these characteristics might have been the result of what is known as “Island Dwarfism” which is an evolutionary process that is the result of long term isolation on an island with limited food and a lack of predators. Continue Reading