Convoluted human evolution: hobbits seperate species (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 16, 2016, 05:47 (1464 days ago) @ David Turell

Another rather complete discussion of who are the Hobbits.

"When researchers first unearthed H. floresiensis, they also uncovered stone tools and animal remains in the same sediment layers of the Liang Bua cave. The tools were simple and Oldowan-like, resembling the earliest and most primitive types of tools in the fossil record.

"The animal remains included those of Komodo dragons, rats, bat and Stegodon (an extinct, pigmy elephant) juveniles. The Stegodon remains showed evidence of cut marks, suggesting H. floresiensis butchered the animals, while charred bones and fire-cracked rocks suggest the hobbits harnessed fire, according to the 2005 Nature paper


"A study published in 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B revealed H. floresiensis had a larger brain than once thought. The CT scan of the hobbit skull suggested its brain was about 426 cubic centimeters (nearly 26 cubic inches), instead of the commonly cited 400 cubic cm. That's more than one-third the size of the modern human brain, which boasts an average volume of about 1,300 cubic cm, or 79 cubic inches.

"The findings suggested H. erectus may be the ancestor of H. floresiensis, as Javanese specimens of H. erectus had brains about 860 cubic cm (52 cubic inches) in size. Alternatively, the hobbit may have evolved from H. habilis, whose brains were only about 600 cubic cm (37 cubic inches), the research suggested.


"In a study published July 22 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Collard and his colleagues compiled a dataset containing 380 skull and dental features for the 20 known hominin species. After analyzing and comparing these features using statistical models, they concluded that H. floresiensis was, indeed, a distinct species and not just a small-bodied or deformed human.

"What's more, the analysis suggests that the hobbit is a descendent of a pre-H. erectus small-bodied hominin that migrated out of Africa and to Southeast Asia. This implies that H. erectus may not have been the first hominin to migrate out of Africa (given that the hobbit lived in Asia but didn't evolve from H. erectus), according to the study."

Comment: Note 20 known hominin species. The lead in Homo bush gets bigger

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