Friday, March 14, 2008

Homo floresiensis update

The other day I blogged about the continuing debate over Homo floresiensis, the possible species of Homo. I mentioned two recent papers that challenge the proposition that the Flores specimens constitute a new species: Obendorf et. al.'s suggestion that the specimens are Homo sapiens who suffered from cretinism and Berger et. al.'s report on a new find of small-bodied remains on Palau that suggests the Flores specimens might have been Homo sapiens who exhibited physiological dwarfism. The anthropoligist John Hawks has now examined the Berger paper (which he peer-reviewed for PLoS One) and written a detailed blog entry on it. I can, by the way, highly recommend Hawks, he certainly knows what he's talking about.

See also: SciAm Observations Blog's piece on Berger et. al.'s paper and National Geographic's article.

1 comment:

  1. As Dr. Junger from SUNY Stony Brook said this is “is really much ado about nothing.”
    I guess the fact that none of the bones found match the hobbits really doesn’t matter. After all, the frontal cranium looks almost as high as a human’s but hey Dr. Berger says they are the same species as the hobbit. Damn, can’t we complete a dig before we report the findings nowadays?

    Of course, I have a vested interest in this discovery, having written a speculative fiction novel called Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot on the recent fossil find. If you are interested, there is more on this ongoing controversy about Homo floresiensis at or catch the free Flores Girl podcast at

    Erik John Bertel