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Homo floresiensis

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Homo luzonensis: a new species of hominin from Luzon

I reflect on the discovery from Callao Cave, Philippines, which reinforces the ability of ancient hominins to disperse across island Southeast Asia.

Teeth from the Homo luzonensis individual from Callao Cave
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How capable were early human ancestors of crossing open water?

In past populations we should keep in mind the exceptional ability of humans to adapt to new circumstances.

Rocky coastline with beach and blue water
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A perspective on how media marginalize scientists from developing countries

A reminiscence from Emanuel "Wahyu" Saptomo sheds light on the discovery and reaction to Homo floresiensis.

Browsing a phone in front of a computer
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An possible ancestor of Homo floresiensis from the Middle Pleistocene of Flores

Gerrit van den Bergh and coworkers describe dental remains and a jaw from Mata Menge, 700,000 years ago.

Images of teeth in multiple views, with arrows pointing into a jaw to show the tooth positions
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A revised chronology for Liang Bua places Homo floresiensis earlier than 60,000 years ago

Further study of the “hobbit” site shows that the stratigraphy was more complicated than assumed back in 2004, with skeletal remains much earlier than originally published.

Liang Bua cave with archaeologists pictured at center and excavation areas visible.
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New fossil material from Luzon suggests another small hominin may have lived on that island

The discovery of a small metatarsal from more than 67,000 years ago in the Philippines may reflect habitation prior to the arrival of modern people.

A dark cave with bright green stalactites visible in center of frame, and two people standing in a large open chamber.
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Ninety percent of your brain is (not) useless

A close look at the idea that most of the brain is superfluous space, with a review of people who get by with extraordinarily small brain mass.

Ninety percent of your brain is (not) useless
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The Homo floresiensis discovery, an initial FAQ

I answer questions about whether the small hominin is a dwarfed descendant of Homo erectus or something else.

Cast of Homo floresiensis skeleton