bio anthro research - May 6 2014 Brandon Rose Biological...

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May 6 2014 Brandon Rose Biological Anthropology Homo Floresiensis Throughout the past few hundred years or so, new discoveries in our evolutionary history have proven and disproven many theories about modern human ancestors. Evidence shows us that we have very gradually evolved into the intelligent, upright walking people we are today from apes that have existed for millions of years. Most people believe that the entire population of the homo genus slowly adopted bipedalism leading to a respective increase in height and brain capacity. However, recent fossil findings on the Indonesian island of Flores show otherwise. In 2003, a team of Australian-Indonesian archeologists dug up nine unusually small partial skeletons, one of them having an almost-complete skull and body. It was discovered that they were the bones of our fellow hominids which are now called Homo floresiensis, otherwise known as the “Hobbit”. One of the reasons this was such a significant discovery was because the remains are only eighteen thousand years old. Homo floresiensis is a very interesting species due to its miniature body structure and the controversies that surround it, such as whether or not it still exists today and how it evolved to be so unique. The most obvious stand-out physical trait of Homo floresiensis is its height. The most complete set of skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis are known as LB1. It is estimated to have stood 3.5 feet tall, or, about the same size as an average 3-4 year old modern human child (Baab). There’s a big debate as to whether Homo floresiensis really is it’s own species or if it is actually a modern pathological human. To think that there is a possibility of a modern day, 1 meter tall human living on an isolated island from the rest of the world is fascinating. Microcephalency, cretinism, and Laron syndrome are all possible pathological causes for a modern human to become physically dwarfed like Homo floresiensis (Prostak). But the unusually small brain sizes don’t quite fit in with these pathological conditions. Modern human pygmies, despite being small in size, their brains aren’t much smaller than average sized humans (Baab). Yousuke

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