Homo Floresiensis - the Hobbit Essay

3000 Words Nov 24th, 2008 12 Pages
“Home Floresiensis - The Hobbit”

Homo floresiensis (“Man of Flores”) is the name for a possible new species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times (www.en.wikipedia.org). Anthropologists Peter Brown of University of New England in South Wales, Australia, Michael Morwood and their colleagues have argued that a variety of features, both primitive and derived, identified LB1 (the first skeleton found in cave of Liang Bua) is that of a new species of hominin, Homo floresiensis. The first specimens were discovered by Thomas Sutikna and colleagues from the Indonesian Research Centre for Archaeology in Liang Bua cave of Flores, Indonesia in September of 2003
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Researchers speculate that the “hobbit” and her peers evolved from a normal-sized, island-hopping Homo erectus population that reached Flores around 840,000 years ago but no fossils of large bodied ancestors have been found so there is a possibility that they arrived to Flores small-bodied to begin with. Physically, besides their short length, they had slightly longer arms than us with a lower twist in the forearm bones than usual. They also had hard, thicker eyebrow ridges, a sharp sloping forehead, and no chin (www.nationalgeographic.com). Despite the fact that the studied brain of LB1 was one-third the size of a normal human’s brain, they had proven to be intelligent beings who must have acquired a form of communication to plan and hunt large animals as a group. With the brain size being that of a lower range of chimpanzees, discoveries have associated Homo floresiensis with advanced behaviors. The brain size is approximately 380cc compared to the early erectus which had a brain size of around 800-900cc. There has also been speculation that H. floresiensis might actually have evolved from something smaller, such as the Dmanisi hominids found in Georgia, which had brain sizes between 600 and 700cc (www.talkorigins.org). Although, it was later found that their indicator of

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