A nice thing about being a blogging journalist is that it gives me a place to put selected juicy bits and ruminations that there?s no space for in the "real" article. So here is some Supplementary Information on my most recent piece about the Hobbits, those minuscule possible-humans who seem to have survived on the Indonesian island of Flores nearly into the Holocene.Where did the Hobbits (officially designated Homo floresiensis) come from? All the answers so far have big problems. The discovery team has backed off its original idea that they are descended from Homo erectus and grew small because of an evolutionary phenomenon called island dwarfing, where creatures in a restricted ecosystem shrink because resources are scarce and predators few. But the authors have substituted an even farther-out idea: the Hobbits are remnants of something resembling an australopithecine. Teeth and skull seem human, but much of the other...
H. erectusAustralopithecusHomo erectusHomoHomo erectusH. sapiens
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?