Homo floresiensis

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Homo floresiensis (nicknamed the Hobbit) was an ancient species of hominid or archaic human that inhabited the small island of Flores,Wikipedia's W.svg Indonesia around 50,000 years ago.[1] Due to the surprising find of a primitive human more akin to Homo habilis or even Australopithecus it was assumed by some, refusing to come to terms with such a shocking revelation, that the Hobbits of Flores were mere "pygmies" no different from the NegritosWikipedia's W.svg that currently inhabit the region, even though Homo floresiensis possessed a hodgepodge of traits that showed that it was even more basal than Homo erectus, still possessing features found in earlier hominids but lost by later, more derived species of humans, and yet H. floresiensis possessed features that were more derived than H. habilis as well.[2] Indeed, with the discoveries of primitive, archaic humans such as H. erectus georgicus or Homo luzonensis outside of Africa, it is likely that the Hobbits of Flores evolved from a very early human migration out of Africa[3], and this is buoyed by the discovery of ancient stone tools found in China dating back to more than two million years of age.[4] Given that even back when Flores was still separated from the Asian mainland by miles of ocean, it is likely that the Hobbits reached Flores by boat, pushing evidence of boat usage back by at the very least several hundreds of thousands of years.

Modern humans?[edit]

As mentioned earlier, some people contend that the Hobbits of Flores were nothing more than modern humans exhibiting features of insular dwarfismWikipedia's W.svg similar to the aforementioned Negritos already found in the region. This is irregardless of the fact that Negritos, aside from their unusually small stature, are still fully modern humans, while the Hobbits weren't, for one no Negrito has a brain the size of a chimpanzee's, while the Hobbits did.[5][note 1] Some others have put forward the suggestion that the Hobbits were nothing more than an isolated population of modern humans suffering from endemic cretinism, something that is still found among modern Indonesians to this day, but Groves et al. (2010) puts this claim to rest.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. Even so, the Hobbits still used stone tools and even harnessed fire, brain size only has a relative ratio proportion to intelligence, it is brain-to-body size ratio that counts, and the Hobbits, as per the norm for members of the genus Homo, had bigger brains per body size than usual even for primates.

References[edit]

  1. Sutikna, Thomas; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Morwood, Michael J.; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokus Due; Wasisto, Sri; Westaway, Kira E. et al. (30 March 2016). "Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia". Nature 532 (7599): 366–369. Bibcode 2016Natur.532..366S. 
  2. "Clarifying the Various Human Species" - AronRa
  3. Dembo, M.; Matzke, N. J.; Mooers, A. Ø.; Collard, M. (2015). "Bayesian analysis of a morphological supermatrix sheds light on controversial fossil hominin relationships". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1812): 20150943. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/282/1812/20150943.full.pdf. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  4. "Stone Tools in China Could be Earliest Evidence of Human Life Outside of Africa" - The Guardian
  5. Falk, D. (8 April 2005). "The Brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis". Science 308 (5719): 242–5. 
  6. Groves, C.; Fitzgerald, C. (2010). "Healthy hobbits or victims of Sauron". HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology 61 (3): 211.