Thursday, March 06, 2008

Homo hobbitus update 'Hobbit' hominids were dwarf cretins, say scientists
Anthropologists have fired another salvo in a feud about diminutive "hobbit" people whose fossilised remains were found in a cave on a remote Indonesian island four years ago.

Combatting a bid to have the hobbits enshrined as a separate branch of the human family tree, they argue the tiny cave-dwellers were simply Homo sapiens who became stunted and retarded as a result of iodine deficiency in pregnancy.

Dubbed after the wee folk in J.R.R. Tolkien's tale, the hominids -- just a metre (3.25 feet) tall and with a chimp-sized brain -- lived around 18,000 years ago on the island of Flores.

I dunno, this seems a bit weird. An entire tribe/group of dwarf cretins? Or maybe they were exiled there?