Hobbit Cave Digs
Posted 28 January 2007 - 09:39 PM
Indonesian officials have blocked access to the cave since 2005, following a dispute over the bones.
But Professor Richard "Bert" Roberts, a member of the team that found the specimens, told BBC News the political hurdles had now been overcome.
The researchers claim that the remains belong to a novel species of human.
South-East Asia and East Asia is going to yield an awful lot of surprises
Mike Morwood, UNE
But some researchers reject this assertion, claiming instead that the remains could belong to a modern human with a combination of small stature and a brain disorder.
Finding other specimens in the cave, particularly one with an intact skull, is crucial to resolving the debate over whether the Hobbit's classification as a separate species - Homo floresiensis - is valid.
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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:33 AM
Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:39 PM
This is what they might look like...no taller than a three year old child
Bit of an update...
Hobbit human is a new species
The tiny skeletal remains of human "Hobbits" found on an Indonesian island belong to a completely new branch of our family tree, a study has found.
The finds caused a sensation when they were announced to the world in 2004.
But some researchers argued the bones belonged to a modern human with a combination of small stature and a brain disorder called microcephaly.
That claim is rejected by the latest study, which compares the tiny people with modern microcephalics.
LB1 has a highly evolved brain. It didn't get bigger, it got rewired and reorganised,
Microcephaly is a rare pathological condition in humans characterised by a small brain and cognitive impairment.
In the new study, Dean Falk, of Florida State University, and her colleagues say the remains are those of a completely separate human species: Homo floresiensis.
They have published their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The remains at the centre of the Hobbit controversy were discovered at Liang Bua, a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, in 2003.
Researchers found one near-complete skeleton, which they named LB1, along with the remains of at least eight other individuals.
The specimens were nicknamed Hobbits after the tiny creatures in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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