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Latest in the 'hobbit' debate, Nov 2004

07 November 2004

Little folk 'were just sick humans'

Homo floresiensis are really just sick members of Homo sapiens claims Teuku Jacob, Professor of Paleoanthropology at Indonesia's Gadjah Mada University. Jacob says that the tiny floresiensis skull is really that of a relatively recently deceased human who suffered from microcephaly, a congenital condition in which a person is born with a very small brain.

Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum said that while sufferers of microcephaly have small brain cases, their jaws, chins and pelvis bones are of normal dimensions.

'Everything that was found of Homo floresiensis was diminutive, so I don't see how you can substantiate the claim that these were modern little people with one particular condition. Also, the chin is that of a very primitive hominid, not a modern human. I firmly believe Brown has made a superb discovery on Flores.'