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Thu Mar 31, 2016, 04:50 PM

Did Humans Drive “Hobbit” Species to Extinction?

Source: Nature magazine

Did Humans Drive “Hobbit” Species to Extinction?

Latest excavations show Homo floresiensis to be tens of thousands of years older than thought

By Ewen Callaway, Nature magazine on March 31, 2016

Homo floresiensis, the mysterious and diminutive species found in Indonesia in 2003, is tens of thousands of years older than originally thought—and may have been driven to extinction by modern humans.

After researchers discovered H. floresiensis, which they nicknamed the hobbit, in Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores, they concluded that its skeletal remains were as young as 11,000 years old. But later excavations that have dated more rock and sediment around the remains now suggest that hobbits were gone from the cave by 50,000 years ago, according to a study published in Nature on March 30.

That is around the time that modern humans moved through southeast Asia and Australia. “I can’t believe that it is purely coincidence, based on what else we know happens when modern humans enter a new area,” says Richard Roberts, a geochronologist at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He notes that Neanderthals vanished soon after early modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa. Roberts co-led the study with archaeologist colleague Thomas Sutikna (who also helped coordinate the 2003 dig), and Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada.

DATING GAME

The first hobbit fossil, known as LB1, was found in 2003 beneath about 6 metres of dirt and rock. Its fragile bones were too precious for radiocarbon dating, so the team collected nearby charcoal, on the assumption that it had accrued at the same time as the bones. That charcoal was as young as 11,000 years old, researchers reported at the time. “Somehow these tiny people had survived on this island 30,000 years after modern humans arrived,” says Roberts. “We were scratching our heads. It couldn’t add up.”

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Read more: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-humans-drive-hobbit-species-to-extinction/

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Reply Did Humans Drive “Hobbit” Species to Extinction? (Original post)
Eugene Mar 2016 OP
nichomachus Mar 2016 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:03 PM

1. Wouldn't doubt it

Homo sapiens is greedy, violent, and xenophobic. Always has been.

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