Monday, October 16, 2006

LITTLE "HOBBIT" IS NOT A NEW SPECIES

New research to be published in the November 2006 issue of Anatomical Record convincingly makes the case that the small skull discovered in Flores, Indonesia in 2003 is not a new species of hominid as was claimed in a study published in Nature in 2004. Rather, the skull is most likely that of a small-bodied modern human who suffered from a genetic condition known as microcephaly. The condition is characterized by a small head.

This is the most wide-ranging and multidisciplinary assessment of the problems associated with the 18,000 year old Flores hominid yet to be published. Significantly, one of the authors of another new study in the September 5 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences includes a co-author who was also a co-author of the original publication in Nature.

Also, the stone tools discovered in association with the Flores fossils are typical of advanced prepared-core technique that has only been used by Neaderthals and modern humans.

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