Mysterious ‘Hobbits’ That Perished 15,000 Years Ago Were Not Human (Study)

Written by on February 17, 2016 in Sci-Tech, Science with 31 Comments
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Homo floresiensis adult female - model of head. Credit: John Gurche, National Museum of Natural History, CC BY-SA

Homo floresiensis adult female – model of head. Credit: John Gurche, National Museum of Natural History, CC BY-SA

Source: phys.org

Diminutive humans that died out on an Indonesian island some 15,000 years ago were not Homo sapiens but a different species, according to a study published Monday that dives into a fierce anthropological debate.

Fossils of Homo floresiensis—dubbed “the hobbits” due to their tiny stature—were discovered on the island of Flores in 2003.


Controversy has raged ever since as to whether they are an unknown branch of early humans or specimens of modern man deformed by disease.

The new study, based on an analysis of the skull bones, shows once and for all that the pint-sized people were not Homo sapiens, according to the researchers.

Until now, academic studies have pointing in one direction or another—and scientific discourse has sometimes tipped over into acrimony.

One school of thought holds that so-called Flores Man descended from the larger Homo erectus and became smaller over hundreds of generations.

The proposed process for this is called “insular dwarfing”—animals, after migrating across land bridges during periods of low sea level, wind up marooned on islands as oceans rise and their size progressively diminishes if the supply of food declines.

An adult hobbit stood a metre (three feet) tall, and weighed about 25 kilos (55 pounds).


Similarly, Flores Island was also home to a miniature race of extinct, elephant-like creatures called Stegodon.

But other researchers argue that H. floresiensis was in fact a modern human whose tiny size and small brain—no bigger than a grapefruit—was caused by a genetic disorder.

One suspect was dwarf cretinism, sometimes brought on by a lack of iodine. Another potential culprit was microcephaly, which shrivels not just the brain and its boney envelope.

Weighing in with a new approach, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, a pair of scientists in France used high-tech tools to re-examine the layers of the “hobbit” skull.

More precisely, they looked at the remains of Liang Bua 1 (nicknamed LB1), whose cranium is the most intact of nine known specimens.

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31 Reader Comments

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  1. ctim811@yahoo.ca' Tim says:

    look like the neighbor , shit I have a hobbit next door

  2. 10204077541977917@facebook.com' Genelda Kistler says:

    They were people

  3. 1555392798112723@facebook.com' Kai-Uwe Maretzky says:

    Da ist ja Kabel Deutschland

  4. 1007480082643757@facebook.com' Angel Moreno says:

    Angela Michelle

  5. 10206846438814355@facebook.com' Fred Zee says:

    Are they closer to monkeys or humans?

  6. 10153444662266903@facebook.com' Dionisio Gaio says:

    Jay

  7. Cindycacciola57@gmail.com' Cindy says:

    Aliens left here from unknown planet

  8. 10207551316354980@facebook.com' Kelly Stearns says:

    Lilliputians?

  9. 173505646329774@facebook.com' Mandy Carty says:

    What if we are a product of Ape & ‘Alien’. Apes hairy,small round eyes etc..images we see of descriptions of aliens?! Hairless, large almond eyes etc.. mix the two?! Lol sounds crazy but..

  10. 1065071016883978@facebook.com' Edith Castillo says:

    Ernest Luis

  11. 10153919755487938@facebook.com' Edward Rex Skerritt says:

    Tony Tasam Hobbitses

  12. 200016587007758@facebook.com' Thomas John McDonnell says:

    They’re among us as we speak.

  13. 1140730505941191@facebook.com' Sonia Rae says:

    Kanye relative, no doubt.

  14. 10207950975363060@facebook.com' James P Moon says:

    Well it’s pretty well know that several species of humanoids were evolving side by side. We are the descendants of the most violent and sexually aggressive humans. Lesser species were murdered and eaten or used for breeding.

  15. 472037282864084@facebook.com' Paintings of jane says:

    humans only

  16. 1121010244600183@facebook.com' Yengs Mansa Calib-og says:

    Homo sapiens

  17. 10154001308360712@facebook.com' Kevin Crossley says:

    Luke Doyle?

  18. 10205151044839334@facebook.com' Nathaniel Smith says:

    I think this article is a load of bs, I watched the documentary where they excavated the remains of these little cave-men. They were wiped out by a volcano 500 years ago.

  19. 1514197555547513@facebook.com' Rob Pullapoy says:

    ,the ugliest face on the planet

  20. 551080555058896@facebook.com' Okkert En Corne says:

    Wel that explains alot

  21. 1976471292578912@facebook.com' Brian Arcos says:

    Aboriginals

  22. 10205025296263938@facebook.com' Daniel Hubbard says:

    Jonathan Di Rocco

  23. 10207572259402258@facebook.com' Mary Louise Dozier says:

    Read your Bible – Adam and Eve were life forms. Does these have the DNA like the DNA found from earlier human life form in Africa.

  24. 633138233456417@facebook.com' Bryan Weaver says:

    Well, this one doesn’t look dead.

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