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The local tradition for H. floresiensis is potentially significant. Villagers in Flores say that up until around 150 years ago, there were small, three-foot-tall hairy "people" who used to steal food from them. Known as the ebu gogos (literally "the grandmothers who eat anything"), they were tolerated by islanders until they stole a baby and ate it. Whether the ebu gogo is pure myth or an accurate recollection of H. floresiensis is at present unprovable. "The folklore material raises the real possibility that H. floresiensis actually survived until sometime in the nineteenth century," said excavation member Bert Roberts, a geochronologist at the University of Wollongong who conducted interviews with the villagers earlier this month. "Indeed, there has to be a remote possibility that they still survive today in some remote jungle area of the island."
Homo floresiensis is not a "miniaturized modern Homo sapiens". Small-statured humans (African pygmies, Negrito) reach their small size through curtailed growth during puberty when the brain has already reached full size, giving a completely different ratio between brain size and stature from the unique ratio found in the Hobbits (ref. Lahr M.M. et al., 2004; Brown P. at al., 2004)). Like Homo sapiens, Homo floresiensis was an obligatory biped, i.e. their normal way to walk was on two legs just as it is among humans. The thickness and proportion of the skull, shape of the teeth, flexion evident at the skull base, are all traits of the genus Homo. Unfortunately, we do not know ho
w they communicated with each other, i.e. whether they had language or not
Originally posted by stirling
This is ATS at its best...
These little guys obviously have something to teach us.....I am wondering if Slays thread on the migratory possibilities in that area has any bearing on this find?
In a nutshell the water level of the oceans was such that interisland travel between the asian continent and Astalia was perhaps possible about the time these little guys were alive....
Perhaps travel from Australia, where pygmies existed, and the island where these skeletons were found was easier and very likely....??
Not that i say they australian pygmies just that there is a possibility of them being related somehow...??
He drew Weber's Line which encloses the region in which the mammalian fauna is exclusively Australasian. Weber's Line is an alternative to Wallace Line. As is the case with plant species, faunal surveys revealed that for vertebrate groups, except for birds, Wallace’s Line was not the most significant biogeographic boundary. The Tanimbar Island group, and not the boundary between Bali and Lombok, appears to be the major interface between the Oriental and Australasian regions for mammals, and other terrestrial vertebrate groups. Thus, for many invertebrates, and birds and butterflies, this interface is better represented by Weber’s Line than Wallace’s Line.
Originally posted by Night Star
Fascinating! But...did they have furry feet and names like Frodo and Bilbo?
Seriously, great find and a great read!
Originally posted by IEtherianSoul9
reply to post by Hefficide
Pre-human ancestors with a case of dwarfism!
Not only were Homo floresiensis dwarfed in size when compared to other Homo genera, but other organisms on the Indonesian Island of Flores experienced evolutionary dwarfism. This occurs when animal populations are confined to an island; and now they are colloquially referred to as "hobbits" lol
It's likely that Homo floresiensis is a distinct species.
edit on 12/12/2012 by IEtherianSoul9 because: (no reason given)
his hominin is remarkable for its small body and brain and for its survival until relatively recent times (possibly as recently as 12,000 years ago). Recovered alongside the skeletal remains were stone tools from archaeological horizons ranging from 94,000 to 13,000 years ago.
Homo floresiensis is not a "miniaturized modern Homo sapiens". Small-statured humans (African pygmies, Negrito) reach their small size through curtailed growth during puberty when the brain has already reached full size, giving a completely different ratio between brain size and stature from the unique ratio found in the Hobbits (ref. Lahr M.M. et al., 2004; Brown P. at al., 2004)). Like Homo sapiens, Homo floresiensis was an obligatory biped, i.e. their normal way to walk was on two legs just as it is among humans. The thickness and proportion of the skull, shape of the teeth, flexion evident at the skull base, are all traits of the genus Homo. Unfortunately, we do not know how they communicated with each other, i.e. whether they had language or not.
The discoverers of Homo floresiensis at first thought that their finds were dwarfed descendants of Javanese Homo erectus and part of an endemic island fauna. The species' relative brain/body size is extreme - even outside the range of the Australopithecines - and a result of their extreme miniaturization.
While it is relatively easy to say what the "Hobbits" are not,it has proven very difficult to say what they are. There is material here for decades of scientific feuding.
Homo floresiensis differs considerably from modern human populations and from modern chimpanzees (ref. Morwood M.J. et al. 2005. "Further evidence for small-bodied hominins from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia." Nature 437/3:1012-1017)
Limb proportions (humerus/ulna to femur) of Homo floresiensis compared with other human, pre-human and ape populations:
1 (green): global sample of modern human population
2 (grey): modern African pygmies
3 (yellow): Andamanese negrito
4 (orange): chimpanzee (Pan paniscus)
red asterisk: Homo floresiensis
black cross: Australopithecus afarensis (extinct, lived in Africa 5 to 1 million years ago)
Femur and humerus shaft robusticity in Homo floresiensis compared with other human, pre-human and ape populations:
Endocranial range (brain size) and Body height ratio for major groups of the genus Homo:
1. Homo sapiens
2. Erectines (Homo erectus etc.)
4. Homo floresiensis
(Chart adapted from Lahr M.M. et al., 2004).
The shape and highly convoluted frontal lobes of a Homo floresiensis brain (below left shown superimposed on the skull) indicate advanced cognition. Not a trace of microcepahly. The Hobbits were intelligent, but to judge from the shape of the brain, it was a non-human intelligence.
The two brains on the right below show the difference in shape between the Floresian brain and a microcephalic (pathologically small-brained, cretinous) Homo sapiens. They have very little in common (ref. Balter M., 2005). Followers of the "Hobbit Cretin cult" please note.
Comparative body heights of three adult modern Homo sapiens and a restoration of an adult Homo floresiensiss to scale.