Sunday, April 02, 2006

More on The Hobbits

From Scientifican comes a two-part article on the latest word on the human “hobbits”, Homo floresiensis:

“Paleoneurologist Ralph Holloway of Columbia University described some curious details of LB1's endocast--the mold of the inside of her braincase that reveals the shape of her brain. He noted the presence of several possibly pathological features in addition to its small size, including an extreme flattening known as platycephaly, as well as the odd protuberance and thinness of brain folds known as the gyri recti, which are located in the prefrontal lobe. He also observed that the prefrontal lobe itself looks significantly smaller than expected for a member of the genus Homo.

But with the exception of the very small size of LB1's brain, none of these unusual traits appeared in the nearly 20 microcephalics he has examined. Holloway could not rule out the possibility that LB1 had a form of microcephaly, however. The hypothesis that she suffered from some kind of disease deserves serious consideration and should be investigated further, in his view.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

I picked this link up from Carl Zimmer’s excellent blog, “The Loom”. Image from HERE.