A new study based on CT scans of the hobbit skulls suggest that homo erectus may possibly have been an ancestor to homo floresiensis, and supports the theory that the reduction in size may have come about due to island dwarfism.
Homo floresiensis, The Conversation 20130211
Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications
Daisuke Kubo, Reiko T. Kono and Yousuke Kaifu
Proc. R. Soc. B 2013 280, 20130338, published 17 April 2013
The Real ‘Hobbit’ Had Larger Brain Than Thought
LiveScience, 16 April 2013
Hobbit Humans Had Big Brains
Discovery News, 16 April 2013
Researchers find ‘hobbit human’ had an orange-sized brain – and may have evolved from the first human species to walk fully upright
Daily Mail, 16 April 2013
Study backs ‘hobbit’ island dwarfism theory
BBC News, 17 April 2013
Brain size points to origins of ‘hobbit’
ABC Science, 17 April 2013
The origin of “hobbits” is revealed: study
The Korea Herald, 17 April 2013
Researchers back claim that Flores ‘hobbits’ grew smaller as they evolved
AFP, 17 April 2013
Hobbit’s Brain Size Holds Clues About Its Ancestor
National Geographic News, 18 April 2013
A new facial reconstruction of Homo floresiensis was introduced last week at the Australian Archaeological Association’s annual conference and also made its rounds in the news media. Reconstructions of the hobbit have been commonplace, but what makes this face different is that Susan Hayes has published a paper on the reconstruction, explaining how and why this face was derived from the bones. Here’s a roundup of the news:
Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, Susan Hayes, University of Wollongong
Hobbit face revealed
Cosmos, 10 December 2012
Real-Life ‘Hobbit’ Face Revealed
LiveScience, 10 December 2012
‘She’s not pretty’ – meet a real hobbit
The Age, 10 December 2012
The Flores Hobbit’s face revealed
The Conversation, 10 December 2012
What a hobbit REALLY looks like: Researchers reconstruct the face of Homo floresiensis
Daily Mail, 10 December 2012
New face for ancient ‘Hobbit’ unveiled
Illawara Mercury, 10 December 2012
Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features Of Ancient Human
Huffington Post, 11 December 2012
We’ve been referring to the Homo floresiensis as the ‘Hobbit’ since its discovery, but now it seems that the estate of J. R. R. Tolkien is legally blocking the use of the term – by preventing a public lecture in New Zealand from using the word ‘Hobbit’.
Hobbit makers ban uni from using ‘hobbit’
3News, 24 October 2012
An exhibition on the Flores hominid is on show at Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science.
UOW hobbit makes it big in Japan
Illawara Mercury, 27 April 2010
Debate about the hobbit continues at the recent American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting.
Hobbit debate goes out on some limbs
Science News, 19 April 2010
An update on the hobbit debate; Mike Morwood’s team is now expanding the search for the hobbit in the surrounding regions.
photo credit: Rosino
Indonesian ‘hobbit’ challenges evolutionary theory
AP, via Jakarta Post, 07 March 2010
The Observer’s Science Editor has an update on the latest developments in Hobbit research – and how they might have been the first species out of Africa than the homo erectus. Of course, the usual caveats apply: future research will probably confirm or refute this hypothesis.
photo credit: Rosino
How a hobbit is rewriting the history of the human race
The Observer, 21 February 2010
This week’s rojak features the dying tradition of gong tuning in Vietnam, and a case of stolen tradition in a spat between Indonesia and Malaysia. And a special treat for those who missed the Hobbit Symposium earlier this year.
photo credit: roktobaren
Yet another paper lends support to the idea that the Flores Hobbit is a seperate species and not a deformed human. This time, a study uses cladistics, or the comparison of physical characteristics to determine ancestry, and determined through computer modelling that homo floresiensis split off from homo sapiens nearly two million years ago. Pretty exciting stuff because of the unexpectedly early date, which, if proven true from later finds, will force a rewrite of how we understand how early man came about and populated the earth. However, as with all the hobbit studies previously published, we’ve still been looking at only one set of bones. I think what we really need now is some independent confirmation in the form of another hobbit find.
photo credit: Ryan Somma
Hobbit early off the family tree: New research
ANU Media Release, 31 July 2009
Humans, Flores ‘hobbits’ existed together: study
ABC News, 2 August 2009
Two papers published in nature last week lended more credence to the theory that the Indonesian Hobbit, homo floresiensis, is a separate species (for the reports of the two studies, read here). Here are some more news reports, videos and podcasts that have featured the latest hobbit studies.
Small Brain Of Dwarf ‘Hobbit’ Explained By Hippo’s Island Life
Science Daily, 08 May 2009
Science Friday Podcast: The Hobbit debate
Science Friday, 08 May 2009
“Hobbits” Not Good Runners; Proof of New Human Species?
National Geographic, 08 May 2009
Hippo’s island life helps explain dwarf hobbit (w/Video)
Physorg.com, 07 May 2009
Nature podcast: Mini Hippos and Mini Men
Nature, 07 May 2009
Indonesian ‘hobbit’ confirmed to be a new species
The Telegraph, 07 May 2009
Hobbits May Belong on New Branch of Our Family Tree
Wired Science, 06 May 2009