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Real life hobbits

04.27.2009

Hobbit skeleton

Was J.R.R. Tolkien really a historian? Middle Earth may not be as fictional as we have been led to believe as a skeleton (seen above) for Homo floresiensis, a mysterious Hobbit-like humanoid who lived 20,000 years ago in Indonesia, was recently confirmed as a new species. Growing to three feet tall, the humanoids comprised a combination of features that cannot be explained by any currently known pathologies. According to "Live Science", via io9:

Florida State University anthropologist Dean Falk described a study in which she compared the size and shape of the Homo floresiensis brain (based on scans of the skull) to that of modern humans, chimpanzees, the early hominin species Homo erectus, and humans with a disorder called microcephaly, which has been suggested as an explanation for the Hobbit's small stature. She found the Hobbit brain most closely resembles Homo erectus, and is least like the brain with microcephaly.

"In our view we dispensed at that point with the microcelpahy hypothesis," she said. "It's not just that their brains are small; they're differently shaped. It's its own species."

There are no known pathologies that can account for all the anatomy features seen in Homo floresiensis, Washington University anthropologist Charles Hildebolt said.

What else that J.R.R. Tolkien described roamed around Earth 20,000 years ago?

Extra Tidbit: Maybe the upcoming HOBBIT movie should be preceded by a "Based on a true story" tag or something.
Source: io9

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