The mysteries of the Hobbits. Michael Balter @Mbalter @ScienceMagazine

Nov 08, 2020, 02:31 AM
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The mysteries of the Hobbits.  Michael Balter @Mbalter @ScienceMagazine

"Where do Hobbits come from? No, not the little humanoids in the J. R. R. Tolkien books, but Homo floresiensis, the 1-meter-tall human with the chimp-sized brain that lived on the Indonesian island of Flores between 90,000 and 13,000 years ago. There are two main hypotheses: either the creature downsized from H. erectus, a human ancestor that lived in Africa and Asia and that is known to have made it to Flores about 800,000 years ago and may have shrunk when it got there—a case of so-called "insular dwarfism" often seen in other animals that get small when they take up residence on islands. Or it evolved from an even earlier, smaller-brained ancestor, such as the early human H. habilis or an australopithecine like Lucy, that somehow made it to Flores from Africa...."