Hobbits in the Human Family Tree?

That’s the title of this archaeological update about an article in the latest Journal of Human Evolution on the “little people” (Homo floresiensis). Personally, I’ll wait for the genetics (like with the recent Neanderthal genome sequencing) before I lend any credence to this “new, ancient human.” I post it here since I can’t wait for the ancient astronaut wacky crowd to start splicing alien grays into the human genome on the basis of this stuff.  More paleobabble coming right up, sir!

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  • koak

    There will not be any DNA info from the floresiensis fossils any time soon. The taphonomy precludes DNA isolation by current techniques (and is likely to be impossible), and the current fossils would be hopelessly contaminated by handling.

    • MSH

      thanks for that note.

  • http://aproposofverylittle.blogspot.com/ Richard D

    I don’t think I have actually heard of any ‘alien’ type stories regarding Floresiensis actually. Which is sort of ironic given that there has been one hell of a genuine controversy over their status since their discovery.

    I think, given there is more than one individual, that flores is highly unlikely to be pathological. However, the morphometric stuff has not really done too much to settle what it is closest related to as far as I remember.

    I’m tempted to think erectus that has undergone insular dwarfism but that is really just a moderately educated guess more than anything else.

    Not sure whether we are in a position to retrieve good genetic data from the samples. Will have to have a read (it has been a while).

    • MSH

      I haven’t heard of any either – I’m just on the edge of my seat waiting for some.