The ‘Hobbit’ Skeleton May Not Be A New Human But Had A Familiar Condition


There have been many archaeological discoveries that have either pushed the limits of scientific rationale, or simply surprised many. Here at The Inquisitr, we reported numerous times on such like the scientist who discovered a triceratops horn with soft tissue, a find that might actually debunk evolution or an ancient cemetery found in the backyard of a house in Chicago. Sometimes, a discovery might be enlightenment on a previous discovery, which has been found for the “hobbit” skeleton.

Reports are coming in that the “hobbit” skeleton – a set of bones thought to belong to a new ancient species of human – isn’t exactly a new species after all. As a matter of fact, the human may have had a condition that some people have today: down syndrome.

According to an article by Science Daily, it reports that the October 2004 excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia, has been re-analyzed by an international team of researchers which includes a great teams of scientists leading the research. Robert B. Eckhardt, professor of developmental genetics and evolution at Penn State, Maciej Henneberg, professor of anatomy and pathology at the University of Adelaide, and Kenneth Hsü, geologist and paleoclimatologist, suggests that the bones don’t represent a new species.

Through their findings, the scientific team has concluded the bones show signs of abnormal human development and features most consistent with a diagnosis of down syndrome. Eckhardt confirms the location of the bones’ discovery was with other bones too in the following statement:

“The skeletal sample from Liang Bua cave contains fragmentary remains of several individuals. LB1 has the only skull and thighbones in the entire sample.”

LB1 is the moniker given to the “Hobbit” skeleton and as they continued their research, more and more evidence proves the skeleton surely belonged to a human who had down syndrome. In another article by ABC, it reports that if certain conditions (down syndrome) are taken into account, the skeleton is of similar height to other modern human species in the region.

Prior to the conclusion that the “Hobbit” skeleton is actually the bones of a person with down syndrome, initial descriptions classified it as Homo floresiensis and focused on LB1’s unusual anatomical characteristics. This includes a cranial volume reported as only 380 milliliters suggesting a brain less than one third the size of an average modern human’s and short thighbones. At full construction, the skull and thighbones estimated LB1’s height to be at 3.5 feet tall.

Additional details and context are available at the Liang Bua Cave website.

For those of you who knew about the “Hobbit” skeleton before, what do you think about the new findings? Does it hinder or support your belief of how animals and humans came to be? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via Bing]