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Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new 'Hobbit' human

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posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new 'Hobbit' human


In October 2004, excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia yielded what was called "the most important find in human evolution for 100 years." Its discoverers dubbed the find Homo floresiensis, a name suggesting a previously unknown species of human.

Now detailed reanalysis by an international team of researchers including Robert B. Eckhardt, professor of developmental genetics and evolution at Penn State, Maciej Henneberg, professor of anatomy and pathology at the University of Adelaide, and Kenneth Hsü, a Chinese geologist and paleoclimatologist, suggests that the single specimen on which the new designation depends, known as LB1, does not represent a new species. Instead, it is the skeleton of a developmentally abnormal human and, according to the researchers, contains important features most consistent with a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

"The skeletal sample from Liang Bua cave contains fragmentary remains of several individuals," Eckhardt said. "LB1 has the only skull and thighbones in the entire sample."

No substantial new bone discoveries have been made in the cave since the finding of LB1.

Initial descriptions of Homo floresiensis focused on LB1's unusual anatomical characteristics: a cranial volume reported as only 380 milliliters (23.2 cubic inches), suggesting a brain less than one third the size of an average modern human's and short thighbones, which were used to reconstruct a creature standing 1.06 meters (about 3.5 feet tall). Although LB1 lived only 15,000 years ago, comparisons were made to earlier hominins, including Homo erectus and Australopithecus. Other traits were characterized as unique and therefore indicative of a new species.


Sorry guys, not a hobbit after all but someone who had Down's Syndrome.

Upon further analysis, the team doesn't know why a new species needed to be invented in order to explain the not so rare traits. They weren't sure that it was Down's Syndrome when they first got the remains but they could tell there was a developmental disturbance. After a while things pointed in the direction of Down's Syndrome.




posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 08:40 PM
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But, weren't there additional specimens all found in that same cave area? One I could understand, but multiples, in the same location, over time? The odds of Down's Syndrome in all those cases is very low IMO.

ADDED:
From the Australian Museum Website



The remains include a largely complete skeleton with skull (LB1) and parts of at least eleven other individuals. These remains come from different levels and range in date from 38,000 to 13,000 years old. An arm bone, from a deeper level and dating to about 74,000 years old, is provisionally assigned to H. floresiensis. A more accurate designation is difficult to make as LB1 lacks an arm bone to make comparisons with.

Homo floresiensis: One of the most controversial and surprising hominin finds in a century
edit on 8/4/2014 by Krakatoa because: Added a reference



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 11:50 PM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
But, weren't there additional specimens all found in that same cave area? One I could understand, but multiples, in the same location, over time? The odds of Down's Syndrome in all those cases is very low IMO.

ADDED:
From the Australian Museum Website



The remains include a largely complete skeleton with skull (LB1) and parts of at least eleven other individuals. These remains come from different levels and range in date from 38,000 to 13,000 years old. An arm bone, from a deeper level and dating to about 74,000 years old, is provisionally assigned to H. floresiensis. A more accurate designation is difficult to make as LB1 lacks an arm bone to make comparisons with.

Homo floresiensis: One of the most controversial and surprising hominin finds in a century


The article only talks about LB1 but you can go here Flores facts- The Liang Bua caves skeletons to the website that talks about Laing Bua cave skeletons, there's probably an answer to your question there.


((Mods: I apologize in advance if the website I linked breaks any T&C but from what I scanned of the site it doesn't look like it's asking for any money or to join any cause.))



posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 12:19 AM
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Thanks for the post! Since I retired I don't follow the field as closely as was my custom when working.
This is as I had suspected all along, someone wanting their 15 minutes of fame and not caring if they were scientifically correct or not. The whole claim was based on one skull. While there were odds and ends of other individuals found, as I understand it, LB1 was the only skull discovered intact and there can be any number of conditions that could cause the variations seen in the remains, Down's Syndrome being the most likely apparently.
How they ever got this accepted in the first place is beyond my comprehension...large ego and arrogance are the two things that immediately spring to mind since it is extremely rare to base such a conclusion on one lonely piece of evidence.



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