Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tolkien Week September 16th-22nd and Hobbit Day, September 22nd

Tolkien Week September 16th-22nd and Hobbit Day September 22nd

If you need a new reason to celebrate Hobbit Day, do it because maybe there is a little bit of Hobbit inside of you!

One of the most puzzling discoveries in human evolution was the unearthing four years ago of the so-called "Hobbit" — a three-foot tall human-like creature with a brain the size of a grapefruit.

The Hobbit skeleton caused a split among anthropologists. Some scientists have said the Hobbit, found in Indonesia, is a weird human ancestor that somehow survived until some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago, living unnoticed as modern humans took over the world. Others have said it is a modern human with a condition resembling the genetic disease microcephaly.

But new evidence suggests that the hobbit really was a primitive form of human never seen before.

Researcher Matthew Tocheri, who studies wrist bones at the Smithsonian Institution, was shocked when he saw the wrist bones of the Hobbit.

"I opened up the container and I pulled out the bones and, wow, I couldn't believe it. I was like — is somebody putting me on? These are completely primitive," says Tocheri.

Tocheri says his knees were shaking with excitement. If the Hobbit was simply a diseased modern human, or even a human cousin like a Neanderthal, it would have human-like wrist bones. But the wrist bones looked more like those of an ape. Nobody had noticed the difference because the identification requires expertise in the tiny bones of the wrist.

Tocheri spent a year studying three of the Hobbit's wrist bones at the Smithsonian. He says all three of the wrist bones support the idea that it is not a diseased modern human.

"In great apes and other primates, the trapezoid looks like a pyramidal wedge, but in modern humans and Neanderthals, it looks like a boot," says Tocheri.

Another anthropologist who worked with Tocheri, William Jungers at Stony Brook University in New York, agrees. He says if these new findings hold up, it could change scientists' view of human evolution.

"I think we have grossly underestimated the complexity of human evolution and I think there are other surprises like this in store," says Jungers.

The new interpretation has not entirely resolved the dispute. Skeptics say hundreds of genetic diseases could affect the size and shape of human bones.

Although partial remains of other Hobbits have surfaced at the same site, they say it could have been an isolated colony of inbred people who shared the same genetic abnormalities.

But Matthew Tocheri says he thinks the Hobbit is an ancient ancestor and the ultimate survivor.

"Just looking at them and seeing and how primitive they were, I almost felt a certain feeling of success for the Hobbit. They made it, they made it into modern times, they've completely baffled us because they did it," says Tocheri.

Regardless of whether the Hobbits are our ancestors or simply abnormal humans, they clearly defied steep odds to survive.

Tocheri's research will appear in the Sept. 21 issue of Science. (Case Grows for 'Hobbit' as Human Ancestor by Christopher Joyce NPR )

1 comment:

qishaya said... propose Concise design model, whether it is Abercrombie fitch or a shirt, jacket is a good array oh.Ultra-Zan’s pants manner. buy Abercrombie Make up your body a little less than the curve.Abercrombie sale Easily with any clothing, different shoes and boots with different styles. Both kind, genial comfort, you can also cool very special Abercrombie .Designed to highlight hurtful the chest, waist and hip, quite close, sexy extraordinary.Companies consider the use of at least 4 time in-gravity Japanese market. Ginza stockroom Abercrombie & FitchAbercrombie Sweaters may be the most costly ever built one of the flagship storeroom, flagship stockpile in cheap Abercrombie compared to superior construction expenses for 1800-2000 million. The circle spokesman said in Tokyo supplies opened for the Abercrombie & Fitch's worldwide growth policy in provisos of a very important measure. Ginza supply is the circle's first mass in Asia, the business campaign to open next year in Fukuoka, Japan, out of a moment Asian restaurant. However, abercrombie stores the spokeswoman did not disclose more shop list.present high level and high assess clothing for youngsters. The food extended of Abercrombie and Fitch embrace not only casual wears,breitling watches, shirts and dresses for the youngsters but it also includes luxury matter such as perfumes and discount Abercrombie accessories. The new limit of yield from Abercrombie and Fitch has superb designs for kids and teenagers. The strain is also recognized for its advertisements,model watches, where you have physically attractivpoorly clad men and women, who begin vigorous, abercrombie outlet enthusiastic, smart and outgoing.Abercrombie 2010