Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Little People

Anthropologists can't believe it, but in 2003 they actually found evidence of a 'hobbit-like' people that lived on the island of Flores in Indonesia, as recently as 18,000 to 13, 000 thousand years ago. These people, which evolutionary biologists think were an offshoot cousin (pardon the pun) of the Homo erectus in Asia, were about the size of a three year old child. As modern humans moved into Asia, and our Homo erectus ancestors eventually became extinct, scientists believe that the 'hobbit' people were locked in time on the island, and survived. "Homo Floresiensio" may have co-existed with modern humans for 30,000 years until they died out!

Apparently there are legends in the surrounding Indonesian islands about little people living in caves. Indeed there must have been some interaction between modern humans and Homo Floresiensio. Anthropologists believe that the Flores people may have evolved a small stature through natural selection. Living in a contained environment, their small stature may have been an advantageous adaptation to food supply sources and sharing territory. Despite their small brains, Homo Floresiensio hunted in groups, formed stone tools, crossed water barriers, and used fire.

Other anthropologists dispute that the hobbits were a separate species of Homo, but think they were a group of 'cretin' or deformed modern humans that were isolated on the island. But Homo Floresiensio existed on the island from 95,000 thousand years ago to 13,000 thousand years ago,
before modern humans arrived in the area. Homo erectus was the only known species of Homo living in Indonesia 95,000 years ago.

It is truly amazing that Homo Floresiensio (13,000 years ago) may have been our last Homo cousin to walk the earth, at a time when scientists assumed modern humans completely dominated the planet.
Unless Yeti is real......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frodo lives!
well no...actually I guess he died.