H. floresiensis Finds a New Home
Found in Indonesia in 2004, and given the nickname “The Hobbit” because of it’s small size, the mysterious Homo floresiensis may be finally finding it’s niche on the hominid family tree.
First thought to be an anatomically modern human with microcephaly
or a case of island dwarfing, closer examination of the skeletal remains are showing them to be a previously unknown early human offshoot perhaps a species of Australopithecus, such as Lucy.
Though the Hobbit possessed a modern humanoid skeleton, both the premolars and the wrist bones more closely matched to apes or early humans (a million years or older). This will greatly re-shape our understanding of human evolutionary history. Australopithecines are currently believed to have gone extinct 2.9 million years ago, but these remains have been dated to 18,000 years ago, meaning a small group of them may have survived isolated on the island of Flores for quite some time ( cue Land of the Lost music; (personally, I think the should rename this specimen Cha-ka). Further excavations are taking place to hunt for more specimens.
The suspense is killing me!