Researchers from Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York confirmed that the Hobbits, or Homo floresiensis, are indeed a separate “human” species instead of a population of diseases Homo sapiens. The 7th Human Evolution Symposium, Hobbits in the Haystack: Homo floresiensis and Human Evolution was held this year at Stony Brook.
According to the press release, researchers William Jungers and Karen Baab used statistical analysis on the skeletal remains of LB1 (nicknamed Flo) to determine that Homo floresiensis are indeed a distinct species. A few characteristics of LB1 that makes her and her kind a separate species than modern humans.
- LB1’s cranial capacity is about 400cc, about the same size as a chimpanzee.
- The skull and jawbone of LB1 is more primitive looking than any normal modern humans.
- The thigh bone and shin bone of LB1are much shorter compared to modern humans including Central African pygmies, South African KhoeSan (formerly known as ‘bushmen”) and “negrito” pygmies from the Andaman Islands and the Philippines. Jungers and Baab believe that these are primitive retentions as opposed to island dwarfing.
- Using a regression equation developed by Jungers, LB1 was about 3 feet, 6 inches (106cm) tall, far smaller than modern human pygmies whose adults grow to less than 4 feet, 11 inches (150cm) tall.
Read more about the Hobbits at The geometry of hobbits: Homo floresiensis and human evolution (Free Wiley Interscience PDF).
Originally posted on The Prancing Papio.