Tuesday, May 12, 2009

As Go the Hippos, So Goes Homo floresiensis?

One hippopotami cannot get on a bus, because one hippopotami is two hippopotamus.
(Alan Sherman)

According to news from Madagascar, island endemic dwarfism affects the development and size of the brain. Science Daily has a story on fossil remains of ancient hippopotami.
By examining the skulls of extinct Madagascan hippos, Museum scientists discovered that dwarfed mammals on islands evolved much smaller brains in relation to their body size. So Homo floresiensis may have had a tiny brain because it lived on an island. This is something which has been at the heart of the debate of the Hobbit’s origins, whose remains were uncovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.
This was put forth as an explanation some years back but this is the first time I have heard it fleshed out. Read the whole thing.


  1. Ha ha, I can't help it!
    "Nobody knows just what / a paraphernalia is"

  2. Yes, I couldn't resist.