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Hello, Homo floresiensis: Studies prove "hobbits a new species"

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posted on May, 7 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Newly completed studies make an exceedingly good argument for their being a new species.



Two new studies in the British journal Nature go a long way toward settling the debate.

A team led by William Jungers of Stony Brook University in New York tackled the problem by analysing the hobbit's foot.

In some ways it is very human. The big toe is aligned with the others and the joints make it possible to extend the toes as the body's full weight falls on the foot -- attributes not found in great apes.

But in other respects it is startlingly primitive: far longer than its modern human equivalent and equipped with a very small big toe, long and curved lateral toes, and a weight-bearing structure closer to a chimpanzee's.

Recent archaeological evidence from Kenya shows that the modern foot evolved more than 1.5 million years ago, most likely in Homo erectus.

So unless the Flores hobbits became more primitive over time -- considered extremely unlikely -- they must have branched off the human line at an even earlier date.

For Jungers and colleagues, this suggests their ancestor was not Homo erectus "but instead some other more primitive hominin whose dispersal into southeast Asia is still undocumented."

news.yahoo.com...

Fascinating stuf indeed

Im certain that these cousins of ours are the basis for the menehune legends in polynesian myth.
Could it be representative a separate line of homomins that were already small, and survived into the near past and are the root for the stories of dwarves, elves and all the other little people that populate the forests of ancient myth around the world?




posted on May, 7 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by punkinworks
Newly completed studies make an exceedingly good argument for their being a new species.

S&F!
Good catch, though I doubt the debate is over...which expresses both the up side and the down side of acadame. But let it carry on...it promotes further grants and research.

And frankly, I'd love to see a rationale for the world's 'little people' myths.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Very good find.

I think we may have been living with them right up until recorded history. There are many legends and stories. I wont go into too deep I have a theory I'll be posting soon that may play into this.

Great find



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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removed post

[edit on 7-5-2009 by justsomeboreddude]



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Indeed. Many people would be surprised if they knew how "common" reports and stories about Little People actually still are, in this day and age.

Still, I think it would be very unwise to let the "hobbit" explain each and every type of Little People, as it doesn't. But it may very well be the one responsible for the acounts of trolls, leprachauns, Goblins, and similar types.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 12:22 PM
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Those could just be the bones of either one of these or a distant now extinct relative.


Orang Pendek


The orang pendek, say villagers, averages just under one metre high, is immensely strong with broad shoulders and short legs and is covered in short, dark grey hair. It is, witnesses insist, quite unlike any of the eight species of primate known to exist in the Kerinci jungles. It is not, they will add, a man. It is simply orang pendek, and it's no mysterious flash in the zoological pan. It has been repeatedly seen by both local people and by Europeans for at least a century.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 12:55 PM
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So is this the missing link?

Is this what everyone has been looking for?



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by Nightchild
 


What im thinkin is that the "hobbits" are from an undiscovered line of homonids that evolved in the forests as compared to our ancestors that evolved on the savanahs and margins of wooded areas.
Forest dwelling animals are, not always but many times, smaller than their woodland or grassland counterparts.
They spread out of africa or maybe out of asia, if the split in our lineages was even farther back, to inhabit forest environs around the world.
These already small homonids could then have experienced dwarfism due to pressures of island living.

The earliest modern humans to explore these environments would certainly have come across these earlier inhabitants.

Although not all cultures have sories of little people, they are very common among the people of forested regions.

Though I cannot attest to the veracity of the translation, I read that alexander the great, while campaigning in india fought a tribe of mokeys that lived in the forest. The monkeys fought with primitive spears and rocks and were all killed by alexanders army.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by breakingdradles
 


No it is not the "missing link"

What has been popularly called the "missing link" does not exsist.

People used to and still do think that humans evovled from apes, that is simply not the case, humans and apes both evolved from an earlier primate.
And the dating of that separation is going farther back all of the time.
I believe that our closest common ancestor was around 6-7 million years ago? but dont quote me on that.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by breakingdradles
So is this the missing link?

Is this what everyone has been looking for?



No not a missing link. Another "Hominid" that supposedly branched off the family tree along time ago.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I think oran pendek is an ape, myself.

Its reported sightings are more like that of a non tool using animal.

The hobbits were hunters and fire users.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 



By the way, good morning slayer


They would have branched off a long time ago, more than 1.5 mya,

our ancestors had modern feet going way back. Its one of our most enduring features and has remained unchanged for several million years.
I need to start an archive of article, beacuse i just read a very good article about how our ancestors feet developed in reponse to their highly mobile lifestyle on the savanah.
The authors showed that the modern foot goes back 2-3 million years or more.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks09
 


The hobbit may share many habits with modern humans and it has been shown that they were tool users but it does not really state what they looked like. They may share many similarities with us but their features could resemble more ape than man.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks09


By the way, good morning slayer
They would have branched off a long time ago, more than 1.5 mya,
our ancestors had modern feet going way back. Its one of our most enduring features and has remained unchanged for several million years.



Good morning to you to.

I would take that with a grain of salt the Neanderthal had a foot that was almost exactly like our own yet Genetically speaking we are of two completely different species. Any gene swapping evidence between the two has only been found going one way not the other.

They were out of "Africa" Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years before we walked out.


Those could very easily been their foot prints.



[edit on 7-5-2009 by SLAYER69]



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 

The study wasny based on footprints but on foot fossils themselves.

Neanderthal's feet are just like ours, because they are descended from the same line of homonids as us.

The modern foot goes back to at least australopithicus if not earlier.
long before the genus Homo arose.

I would suspect that the homonid that developed into homo florensis left africa or central east asia around 1-2 million years ago, likely driven by the same environmental pressures that drove homo erectus to spread out of africa.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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The most interesting thing about all of this is the fact that whatever it was, its brain was a third the size of ours and still it made fairly complex tools (if you think stone tools are simple to make try knapping one... I tried it once at a demonstration and damn near took my thumb off) which throws entirely into question the whole assumption that larger brain= greater capacity.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 02:47 PM
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Ah, i should have woken earlier, you posted this before me.


Here is the article i found.



The foot that may prove 'hobbits' existed

Unusual features suggest that remains discovered on Indonesian island did belong to new human species

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A miniature species of extinct humans, nicknamed "hobbits", possessed unusual anatomical features explained by their complete isolation from the rest of humanity for thousands of years on their remote island home in Indonesia, studies have found.


The tiny people, who grew to an adult height of no more than three feet, astounded scientists in 2004 when a skull and partial skeletons were unearthed from a cave on the island of Flores. Radiocarbon dating suggested that the species, Homo floresiensis, had lived in and around the cave for tens of thousand of years before dying out about 17,000 years ago.

The latest research into H. floresiensis has found that they were flat-footed, long-toed creatures who could walk easily on two legs but would have found it difficult to run at speed. A separate study suggests that their very small heads, which were perfectly in proportion to their bodies, were the evolutionary outcome of living on such a remote island for so long.

www.independent.co.uk...

The following is an old article from January 2007.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 


Hey I read that they may have adapted do to the nutritional restraints place on their lineage. Which one theory states that they could have "Evolved" into a smaller hominid to coexist to this less fertile environment.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by grover
The most interesting thing about all of this is the fact that whatever it was, its brain was a third the size of ours and still it made fairly complex tools (if you think stone tools are simple to make try knapping one... I tried it once at a demonstration and damn near took my thumb off) which throws entirely into question the whole assumption that larger brain= greater capacity.


Yes, it does bring this point you mention to question.

I remember reading a book named "Holographic Universe" over a decade ago, and if i remember correctly it quoted medical articles in which a physician was unable to erase the memory of rats, nomatter what part of the brain he removed.

Anyway, the whole book is about the possibility that the universe, and everything in it is like a hologram, which in part would be true at least for living species because the dna has all the information about that living thing stored.

Here, found the part of the book that is relevant to this discussion.



Bohm is not the only researcher who has found evidence that the universe is a hologram. Working independently in the field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality. Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain.

In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in every part" nature of memory storage.

Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image. In other words, Pribram believes the brain is itself a hologram.

Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica).

twm.co.nz...

This could explain that even in small brains there is the possibility of having very advanced thought processes, and a large enough capacity to store memories and information even in a small brain.

Anyway, I didn't want to derail the topic, but wanted to point this out in light of grover's response.

I apologize, let's continue chating about hobbits, maybe soon enough we will find Sauron exists, and is trying to conquer Middle-Earth, err, I mean Earth.






[edit on 7-5-2009 by ElectricUniverse]



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by ElectricUniverse
 

I read "The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes" edited by Ken Wilber so I know what you are talking about. A fascinating idea.

I am Jungian in inclination and I sometimes think that that the collective unconscious is open to being tapped by all... after all that is what the Aboriginal idea of the dream time is all about... but then I end up feeling the explanations are all very prosaic... odds are the people who became the Hobbits carried their knowledge with them and it was both preserved and refined over the years.

Still it begs the question... if this creature, barely 3 feet tall was able to survive and thrive (there are localized legends about them) in a environment that contains Komodo dragons ( a fearful critter to even full sized humans) with a brain the third of the size of ours... why do we have so much more...

... especially when its obvious there are some who don't use the brains God gave Hobbits.


On a more interesting note I looked up Komodo dragons on wikipedia to make sure that they live on the island of Floris (and they do) but as I read I learned that Komodo dragons are among the few vertebrates that can reproduce via Parthenogenesis i.e. the female can produce viable eggs without the presence or sperm of males.


[edit on 7-5-2009 by grover]



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