Friday, March 04, 2005

'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree | Science Blog

While I was in Hawaii last December I picked up a book on the history of Hawaii, Little Known Tales in Hawaii History by Alton Pryer. Chapter 1 is called The Menehunes: Hawaii's Little People. (Many people have used the word Menehune as a Polynesian sort of leprechan, so that is NOT what I am referring to here.) There may have been a ethnic group of small stature in Hawaii's early history, in fact in the first Hawaiian offical census 65 people claimed to be Menehune descendants. I am wondering if this Hawaian ethnic group related to this story found at Science Blog.



'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree | Science Blog: "'Hobbit' fossil likely represents new branch on human family tree"

A fossil of a diminutive human nicknamed 'the Hobbit' likely represents a previously unrecognized species of early humans, according to the results of a detailed comparison of the fossil's brain case with those of humans, apes and other human ancestors. Skeptics had argued that the Hobbit, discovered in Indonesia and first announced last fall, could have been an individual who suffered from a disorder that limited brain growth known as microcephaly. The fossils' discoverers had suggested that the Hobbit was either a pygmy form of a known species or a previously undiscovered species of early humans."

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