Hobbits of Flores have always allured attention! And, yet again, there is the buzz about discovering the ancestors of the hobbits! These new found individuals are even smaller than the hobbits, and date back to almost 700,000 years ago.
The first sight of hobbits
- The first sights of fossils associated with hobbits, dates back to the year 2003.
- The scientist unearthed fossils in Liang Bua cave, on the Indonesian island of Flores.
- These fossils were witnessed to belong to unknown hominin.
- It was suspected that the hominin lived between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago.
- In accordance with the suggestion of the scientists, this hominin was a unique branch of the human lineage- Homo floresiensis.
- Since, the stature was just 1 m long; it earned the nickname of Hobbit.
The scientists have some proposal to make with regards to the Hobbit:-
- A group of Homo erectus evolved into floresiensis.
- They can be the earliest ancestor of the modern humans.
- The entire population became smaller in size post reaching the Flores.
- floresiensis might have evolved from even more ancient hominins, with ape like skeletons and smaller brains.
The latest discovery has, however, instigated to the evolution from H. erectus-as suggested by the researchers.
Mata Menge excavation
- The newest of the fossils were unearthed in 2014.
- Mata Menge, nestled within the So’a Basin in central Flores was the site.
- The excavation has been carried on for more than 20 years.
- The specimen was found in sandstone. Analysis of the same revealed that the hominins resided in hot and dry grasslands, which had scattered wetlands.
- A fragment of an adult jaw
- 6 teeth from 3 individuals- include 2 tiny milky teeth from different infants.
In accordance with the researchers these reminiscent were almost 700,000 years old.
What do the researchers unfurl?
- In consonance with the researchers, the new found hominins can be the ancestors of floresiensis.
- The Mata Menge fossils are way smaller than the initially discovered Liang Bua reminiscent.
- The size of the new findings thus indicates that Homo floresiensis had already reached the smallest since by almost 700,000 years ago.
- This can be related to the fact, that radical change in sizes was observed when animals were trapped on islands, the example of the same is dwarf mammoths and dwarf dinosaurs.
The argument continues
Some researchers were of the view that the Liang Bua hominins were not a different human species; they were in fact modern humans with a birth disorder. But, the recent discovery suggests that the hobbit lineage was established much before the evolution of human species in Africa.
There are also found tools in Mata Menge fossil, which are similar to those at the Liang Bua fossil.
In accordance with van der Bergh-“The Mata Menge fossils are intermediate in shape between Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis from Liang Bua,”
It is a definite that further excavation, exploration and research are bound to establish new revelations!
Images ©Kinez Riza