Homo floresiensis (“Man of Flores”) is the name for a possible new species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times (www.en.wikipedia.org). Anthropologists Peter Brown of University of New England in South Wales, Australia, Michael Morwood and their colleagues have argued that a variety of features, both primitive and derived, identified LB1 (the first skeleton found in cave of Liang Bua) is that of a new species of hominin, Homo floresiensis. The first specimens were discovered by Thomas Sutikna and colleagues from the Indonesian Research Centre for Archaeology in Liang Bua cave of Flores, Indonesia in September of 2003 (www.newscientist.com). It’s most important and obvious identifying features were its small body and small brain. These species have been established to have survived on Flores until at least 12,000 years ago. However, there are still some anthropologists, such as Professor Teuku Jacob, who would claim these findings as anything but extraordinary. Whether these specimens represent a new species or not is a controversial issue within the scientific community as a growing number of scientists are challenging this sensational discovery.
Named Homo floresiensis, after the island on which it was found, the tiny human has also been nicknamed as the “hobbit” by the dig workers, after the little creatures from the Lord of the Rings books. A joint team of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists discovered bones of the miniature humans on the island of Flores, which rests 370 miles east of Bali, Indonesia, while looking for evidence of ancient human migration across East Asia to Australia (ufo.whipnet.org). The original skeleton found was fairly complete with a near-complete skull and was proposed to be that of a 30-year-old female (LB1), nicknamed the “Little Lady of Flores”, that stood about 3 feet 3 inches tall. It weighs about 55... [continues]
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