Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Look at Homo floresiensis

LiveScience has an article on the new hominid Homo floresiensis that the press is calling a "Hobbit." Here is the picture from the article.

Most, like me, are astounded that it lived only 20 000 years ago. As the article states:
Yet its anatomy seems to be primitive. Many Homo floresiensis features, such as the shoulder, wrist, jaw and teeth, more closely resemble earlier hominin species such as Australopithecus afarensis ("Lucy") than modern humans.

"It's kind of the single most fascinating fossil species because it's so new and so surprising. It's something that's not quite been figured out," said Nick Blegen, a graduate student studying archaeology at the University of Connecticut who traveled to see the skeleton with his advisor and some other students.

"When you hear something is small, it's hard to picture it, but seeing it you get a sense of what the anatomy was like," he said.

The Hobbit probably stood around 3 feet 5 inches (104 centimeters) tall, and weighed between 66 and 77 pounds.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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