There have been great debates about the lineage of Homo floresiensis. A new unpublished study in the Journal of Human Evolution used imaging to re-examine the layers of the Liang Bua 1 (nicknamed LB1) skull. lead author Antoine Balzeau, a scientist at France’s Natural History Museum and Philippe Charlier, a physician and anthropologist at Paris-Descartes University, computed maps of bone thickness variation from LBI 1 and came to the definitive conclusion that they were not Homo sapiens based on their analysis. Using this modality, however, they could not exclude the possibility that the “hobbit” was a tinier Homo erectus, which arrived on Java some million years ago, nor could they be sure that it was not a species it its own right. Confusing…

The first skeleton found was a two-footed (bipedal) ape, reconstructed to have stood just over a metre tall, and weighing close to 30 kilograms. The remains date from about 38,000 to 18,000 years old. copyright Australian Museum
The first skeleton found was a two-footed (bipedal) hominid, reconstructed to have stood just over a metre tall, and weighing close to 30 kilograms. The remains date from about 38,000 to 18,000 years old. copyright Australian Museum

3 thoughts on “Flores’ Hobbits Aren’t Homo sapiens

  1. H.foresiensis = islandisized H.erectus? Island forms typically become smaller & evolve much smaller brains. Early-Pleistocene (or late-Pliocene?) archaic Homo dispersed to different continents & islands along the coasts (coastal dispersal model, S.Munro) & then entered the inland along the rivers (google: original econiche Homo). In this model, H.floresiensis is not unexpected.

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