likely ancestor of mystery hobbit found
Last Updated : GMT 17:34:35
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice
Last Updated : GMT 17:34:35
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

Likely ancestor of mystery 'hobbit' found

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Likely ancestor of mystery 'hobbit' found

The remains of Indonesia's hobbit-sized humans (L)
Paris - AFP

Half-sized humans who lived 700,000 years ago were almost certainly the ancestors of enigmatic "hobbits" whose fossils were found on the same Indonesian isle in 2013, scientists stunned by their own discovery reported Wednesday.

Two studies, published in Nature, fill a huge gap in our understanding of these diminutive people, whose tortuous evolutionary saga hit a dead-end some 50,000 years ago.

A modest haul of teeth and bones from an adult and two children has bolstered the theory that the hobbits, known to scientists as Homo floresiensis, arrived on Flores island as a different, larger species of hominin, or early man, probably about a million years ago.

And then, something very strange happened.

These upright, tool-wielding humans shrank, generation after generation, until they were barely half their original weight and height.

The process, called "island dwarfism," was well known in animals, with some species shrinking as much as six fold in adapting to an environment with fewer resources.

Indeed, Flores was also home to a miniature race of elephant-like creatures -- possibly hunted to extinction by the mini-men -- called Stegodons.

This is the first hard evidence of humans becoming smaller after being marooned on a spit of land transformed into an island by rising seas.

"The hobbit was real," said Adam Brumm, an archaeologist at the Research Centre of Human Evolution at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and lead author of one of the studies.

"It was an ancient human species that is separate to ours and that no longer exists on the planet today."

The new fossils were unearthed in central Flores in 2014, about 100 kilometres (70 miles) from the 2003 discovery of the hobbit remains.

The find provided partial answers to key questions: from which species did H. floresiensis evolve, and how long did it take to shrink?

Two plausible evolutionary scenarios remain regarding their origins, said Brumm.

"The first is that the 'hobbits' represent a kind of dwarfed Homo erectus from Java," he told AFP.

Homo erectus, up to 1.8 metres (six feet) tall and weighing up to 70 kilogrammes (154 pounds), is thought to have been the first human species to venture out of Africa. 

- A 'huge surprise' -

A specimen dated to about 1.2 million years ago -- when much of the Indonesian archipelago was a single land mass -- was found on the island of Java in the late 19th century.

Similarities in the teeth point to this as the most likely parent of the Flores humans, Brumm said.

"The alternative theory is that these creatures descend from an earlier radiation of more archaic, small-boned hominins from Africa."

One theory that can now be set aside, the researchers said, is that Flores' hobbits were actually modern humans diminished by disease or genetic disorders.

"This find quashes once and for all any doubters that believe Homo floresiensis was merely a sick Homo sapiens," said Gert van der Bergh, leader of the excavation and a professor at the University of Wollongong's Centre for Archaeological Science. 

Most surprising was that the recently exhumed specimens were no larger than those still living on the island more than 600,000 years later. 

"I was stunned when I first saw these new fossils," said co-author Yousuke Kaifu, a scientist at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. 

Anything that old, he said, had been expected to resemble the bigger Homo erectus, or some other more primitive species.

"What we found was a huge surprise," added Brumm. 

"This suggests that H. floresiensis is an extremely ancient species that evolved its small size on Flores at a very early period, possibly soon after it arrived on the island about a million years ago."

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

likely ancestor of mystery hobbit found likely ancestor of mystery hobbit found

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

likely ancestor of mystery hobbit found likely ancestor of mystery hobbit found

 



Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 08:36 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way

GMT 10:28 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 12:12 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Five Saudi women pilots granted GACA licences

GMT 15:04 2018 Thursday ,30 August

Five Saudi women pilots granted GACA licences
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 10:11 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 17:01 2018 Thursday ,30 August

Television reporter killed in Mexico

GMT 10:08 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Microsoft to open 4 data centres

GMT 05:36 2018 Monday ,15 January

Palestinians exhume body of disabled Gazan killed

GMT 13:01 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Global trade 'rebounds strongly' in first half

GMT 00:12 2017 Friday ,19 May

Sheikha Fatima chosen as 'Person of the Year'

GMT 09:12 2017 Tuesday ,01 August

Maia Diab is keen to present different works

GMT 08:22 2017 Wednesday ,14 June

Khalifa gets Ugandan President's letter

GMT 13:50 2011 Wednesday ,08 June

On the perfect moonwalk

GMT 09:33 2015 Thursday ,24 September

Julio Iglesias announced on birthday

GMT 07:51 2018 Monday ,22 January

'The Shape of Water' wins PGA best film

GMT 07:37 2018 Monday ,15 January

Japan sewers clean up their act
 
 Emirates Voice Facebook,emirates voice facebook  Emirates Voice Twitter,emirates voice twitter Emirates Voice Rss,emirates voice rss  Emirates Voice Youtube,emirates voice youtube  Emirates Voice Youtube,emirates voice youtube
emiratesvoieen emiratesvoiceen emiratesvoiceen emiratesvoiceen
emiratesvoice emiratesvoice emiratesvoice
emiratesvoice
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
emiratesvoice, Emiratesvoice, Emiratesvoice