Ever since the discovery of mysterious, tiny bones on the Flores Island in Indonesia, the archaeological world has seen a sometimes contentious debate about where exactly in the human family tree these individuals should be placed. A new study has now arrived that may quite clearly debunk these fossils as anything closely related to modern humans. And the Indonesian hobbit certainly did not sit around smoking a pipe or set out on journeys.
A More Detailed Picture of the Indonesian Hobbit Emerges
They did so to match the resources available within their environment. Other examples of this have been found in the fossil record, including types of rodents and pygmy elephants on the very same island.
This new study, however, has discredited any direct connection between the Indonesian hobbit, Homo floresiensis, and the Homo erectus. This also eliminates any close connection with modern humans, as some scientists once hoped.
The study was conducted by Debbie Argue of the Australian National University. A study paper on the matter was published in the Journal of Human Evolution. Research compared 133 data points from dozens of jaws, skulls, teeth, and body limbs. Research carried out before had mostly only compared skull parts. The new evidence does not show any close connection with Homo erectus or any more advanced species of human.
Many of the features indicate a much more distant common ancestor. This could date back to a species that may have left Africa almost two million years ago.
“It’s possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved.” Argue said.
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