|Facial reconstruction of H. floresiensis Credit: BBC.co.uk|
|Facial reconstruction of H. floresiensis Credit: Hominin evolution|
H. floresiensis were small species in the genus Homo, which means that they are related to us in similar fashion Tigers are related to Lions or Leopards. Two of the most distinctive characteristics are the small size, height being around 0.9-1.1m and weight around 25kg, which measurements are outside the range of human height and weight (possibly closest are the remnants of some island people found in the South Pacific ocean) and small brain, which with estimated 380cm3 is rather in the range of chimpanzee then human, which is several times bigger. And even more fascinating, the brain to body ratio is just above that of the great apes. There were found indication of fire and tool use, which suggest the species were actually well advanced and probably had pretty high cognitive capability. The age of the bones range between 13,000 and 74,000 years, which is pretty long time span for group of creatures living in isolation and may have some serious implications in the evolution and the changes occurring in them. And last, but may be most curious is that on the island Flores were the bones were found the folk tales about Ebu Gogo (something like forest creatures, translated as "Grandmother Glutton") are more prevalent, which may be indication that H. floresiensis probably survived until recent historic times and there may be more rich and recent remnants of them.
|Reconstruction of H. floresiensis with contemporary animals Credit: © National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo|
Very unlikely, but just imagine, how cool is going to be if we even manage to find alive our cousins...
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