Convoluted human evolution: hobbits seperate species (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 19, 2015, 18:20 (1308 days ago) @ David Turell

They appear to be related to H. erectus:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hobbits-were-a-separate-species-ancient-chomp...

"The researchers found hobbit teeth were as small as those from short modern humans. However, other features of these teeth looked completely dissimilar from those of modern humans.

"The hobbit teeth displayed a unique mosaic of primitive traits seen in early hominins mixed with more-advanced traits seen in later hominins, the researchers said. For instance, the canine and premolar teeth looked primitive, whereas the molar teeth looked advanced, or as if they had emerged later in the evolution of Homo sapiens, the scientists said.

***

"The researchers found that the hobbit's primitive dental features are most similar to specimens of Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed ancestor of modern humans, from the Indonesian island of Java. However, H. erectus was about as tall as modern humans. The scientists suggest that on isolated islands, the ancestors of the hobbit underwent dramatic dwarfism, with their bodies shrinking from about 5.4 feet (1.65 m) to 3.6 feet (1.1 m), and brains dwindling from about 52 cubic inches (860 cubic centimeters) to 26 cubic inches (426 cubic cm).

"'For me, this work will turn the tide about the question of evolutionary origin of H. floresiensis," study lead author Yousuke Kaifu, a paleoanthropologist at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, told Live Science.

"While the human lineage generally evolved larger bodies and brains over time, the hobbit suggests that isolation on islands could substantially reverse this evolutionary trend, Kaifu said."

Comment: Using teeth for research just as in the Denisovans


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