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Ancient "Hobbit" Looked Like Humans

New Research Suggests Ancient "Hobbit" Looked More Like us than Apes

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Recently, we reported on new research proving that the remains of the “hobbit” (technically known as Homo floresiensis) did not belong to that of a Homo sapien with pathology but to a distinct species. Now the latest study on this intriguing species has revealed that the face of the “hobbits” looked much closer to humans than apes .

The remains of Homo floresiensis were first discovered in 2003 in a cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia and were dated to have lived between 95,000 and 17,000 years ago.  It has been nicknamed ‘hobbit’ for its small stature (approximately 3 feet 6 inches tall) and large feet.  Their remarkably small height, compared to other ancient human species, have left scientists perplexed as to how they should be categorized.

In the latest paper, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the team of researchers sought to uncover some of the mystery surrounding the hobbit species by trying to determine what their faces looked like.

After careful analysis of the single whole skull that was recovered on Flores they verified the relationship between bone and soft tissue, comparing them with human samples. This allowed them to draw a face which was subsequently compared to nine other faces that have been generated from prior research of other hominins of roughly the same era, using geometric morphometrics. That led to further refinements of the face of the hobbit, which the team reports, looks reasonably similar to modern humans.

The study suggests that, far from being wild ape-like creatures or the missing link between modern humans and apes, the little hominins were more likely to be descendants of Homo erectus.

By April Holloway

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