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Observations

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2013

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Wow. I’ve just spent the last couple days going through the paleoanthropology news that broke in 2013 and I must say it was a banner year. There were so many exciting new findings that bear on scientists’ understanding of just about every chapter of humanity’s seven-million-year saga—from our ancestors’ first upright steps to the peopling [...]

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Observations

Co-Discoverer of Homo sapiens’s Little Hobbit Cousin Leaves Large Scientific Legacy

Mike Morwood

Leading Australian archaeologist Mike Morwood, co-discoverer of the extraordinary human “hobbits,” has died. He was 62. Morwood, who passed away on July 23 from cancer, made important contributions in research areas ranging from the rock art of Australia’s Kimberly region to the seafaring capabilities of Homo erectus. But he will be best remembered for a [...]

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Observations

Reconstructed Face of Extinct “Hobbit” Species Is Startlingly Humanlike

Face of the hobbit, Homo floresiensis

Once upon a time a tiny human species with large feet shared the planet with our own kind. It hunted giant rats and miniature cousins of the elephant, defended its kills from monstrous storks and dodged fearsome dragons. This is not the plot of a lost Tolkien book. This really happened. I’m referring, of course, [...]

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Observations

Ancient Bird Remains Illuminate Lost World of Indonesia’s “Hobbits”

marabou stork

LAS VEGAS–A study of bird remains from the same cave that yielded bones of a mini human species called Homo floresiensis and nicknamed the hobbit has cast new light on the lost world of this enigmatic human relative. The findings hint that the hobbits’ island home was quite ecologically diverse, and raise the possibility that [...]

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Observations

Hominins lived on Flores for nearly 1 million years before the “hobbit”

hobbit flores stone tools million years

Predecessors of the controversial "hobbit" (Homo floresiensis) discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores might have had a longer history there than researchers previously thought. Although early hominins were presumed to be living on Flores about 800,000 years ago—as evidenced by the discovery of stone tools dated to that time—new finds and analysis push their [...]

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Observations

What the small-brained hobbit reveals about primate evolution

hobbit human primate brain size evolution

Is bigger always better? When it comes to brain size, that has long been the prevailing theory—at least among big-brained humans. But a new analysis shows that in the course of primate evolution, brains and brawn haven’t always been on the rise. Ever since a petite female Homo floresiensis (or "hobbit") was described in 2004, [...]

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