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Scientists: Add ‘Hobbit’ to the Evolutionary Family Tree

Via New Scientst:
CASE closed – the “hobbits” that lived on the Indonesian island of Flores only 13,000 years ago were a unique species of hominin. This was the first thought when the remains of a tiny, 18,000-year-old female were uncovered in 2003. Then in 2008 Peter Obendorf of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, claimed the remains were of a modern human with cretinism, a disease caused by iodine deficiency. “I have put that claim to rest,” says Colin Groves of the Australian National University in Canberra. He compared the Flores bones with those of 10 people who’d had cretinism, focusing on anatomical features that are typical of the disease. He found no overlap (HOMO – Journal of Comparative Human Biology, vol 61, p 211). William Jungers at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York agrees the study finally puts that idea to rest.

It's science, so it must be true. - Greg Pollowitz

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