Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hobbits Might Not Be A Homo After All

The controversies over the hobbits or Homo floresiensis just refuse to end. It seems that the hobbits might not be a Homo after all. I guess they found the index and ring fingers of the hobbits (Sorry, inside joke. Read this post if you want).

 Homo floresiensis (LB1) skull. Photo from Science Museum.

Homo floresiensis, LB1, skull (left) and human skull (right). Photo from BBC.

Anyway, Peter Brown from the University of New England who first described Homo floresiensis said that he is considering of stripping the hobbits from the genus Homo. Brown and his colleague, Tomoko Maeda, said that the Homo floresiensis lineage possibly left Africa before the evolution of the genus Homo. Their paper had been accepted and will be published in an upcoming special Homo floresiensis edition of the Journal of Human Evolution.

I can't wait for the paper to come out. In the meantime, you can read this article from The Australian.


Heather said...

Why are so many stuck on a single "out of Africa" human orgin, can this be that too many have not moved on from creation myths. There has been evidence since Dubois, of early human ancestors in South-East Asia (about 2Mya).

Raymond Ho said...

Thanks for the comment Heather.

You are right. I think it is about time for us to re-evaluate human origin.

onix said...

indeed, dispersed 2m years ago and suddenly was on java.. i think the significance of the dmnisi group is only to show hominids did quite ok in isolated contexts. exciting, we should now start finding asian australopitheces.. for now i personally assume a regressive erectus/early sapient with primitive adaptions mostly due to size restriction (shapes conforming australopithece size). btw suggesting migrant australopitheces would develop a what i think more modern toolkit on exactly flores (it is very small) appears really farfetched. and then there are the 840k yo erectus finds on flores..
further limiting the supposed habitat. curious what next, it's a proconsul;)?

Raymond Ho said...

That's interesting Onix! It would be interesting indeed to find "asian" australopithecines. Maybe Homo floresiensis evolved from these asian australopithecines.