Monday, February 2, 2009

"Hobbit Bones" Continue to Fascinate

If you keep up with science news, I'm sure you remember the exciting headlines a few years ago over the "Hobbit bones" that were discovered in Indonesia. Maybe you even kept up with the unfolding story. The latelst is that scientists are arguing over whether the bones belonged to tiny humans or a seperate species.

Those that missed the original story can read about it and view pictures here:

Some researchers suggest that the tiny brains (around a third the size of our own) were due to pathological causes, such as microencephaly.
You can learn about microencephaly here:

Others argue that the beings had features more in line with a different species, despite a few striking similarities with humans.

Skull asymmetry in the specimen could be the result of either pathology or a natural occurance from being buried 10 feet underground for so long.

Some researchers argue that the dozens of similar tiny bones (although without skulls) uncovered in the same area is enough to disprove the pathology theory.

New papers have been released featuring details such as the tiny creatures' diets, based on animal remains found in the same cave as the tiny bones. They most likely ate pygmy elephants, komodo dragons, and giant storks. There was no evidence of sea creatures in their diets.

The one thing we know from the arguments is that the bones are still a mystery. Hopefully we'll know more someday.

Original article

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