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Nature. 2004 Oct 28;431(7012):1055-61.

A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia.

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  • 1Archaeology & Palaeoanthropology, School of Human & Environmental Studies, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia. pbrown3@pobox.une.edu.au

Abstract

Currently, it is widely accepted that only one hominin genus, Homo, was present in Pleistocene Asia, represented by two species, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Both species are characterized by greater brain size, increased body height and smaller teeth relative to Pliocene Australopithecus in Africa. Here we report the discovery, from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia, of an adult hominin with stature and endocranial volume approximating 1 m and 380 cm3, respectively--equal to the smallest-known australopithecines. The combination of primitive and derived features assigns this hominin to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The most likely explanation for its existence on Flores is long-term isolation, with subsequent endemic dwarfing, of an ancestral H. erectus population. Importantly, H. floresiensis shows that the genus Homo is morphologically more varied and flexible in its adaptive responses than previously thought.

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PMID:
15514638
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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