Saturday, April 27, 2013

Homo Floresiensis: Facts About the 'Hobbit'

museum exhibit of the hobbit, homo floresiensis  

The hobbit, Homo floresiensis, lived on the island of Flores some 18,000 years ago, and now researchers have more evidence (its relatively large brain) the diminutive creature was a unique human species.

Homo floresiensis, dubbed "the Hobbit," lived about 18,000 years ago. Several fossils of the hominid have been found, though the first female skeleton (called LB1) is the most complete. Scientists discovered the remains of a 3-foot-tall (1 meter), 30-year-old adult female hominid in 2003 in the Liang Bua (LB) cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores.

LB1's diminutive build — Homo floresiensis likely weighed between 66 and 77 pounds (30 and 35 kilograms) — earned it the nickname of "the Hobbit," after the tiny folk in J.R.R. Tolkien's book of the same name. LB1 includes a nearly complete skull, a partial pelvis, several limb bones and hand and foot bones, according to the journal Nature. The other H. floresiensis fossils include the lower jaw and various skeletal specimens from another hobbit individual dubbed LB6, and fossils from at least four other individuals, according to Nature.

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