I am seeing news reports this morning about this week's upcoming paper in Nature about the Homo floresiensis bones.
The paper is supposed to be under embargo until tomorrow afternoon; Nature is reporting on it early under its pay-per-news site; <a href=http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9661094/">Reuters has a short article</a>, and New Scientist has a longer one (Google says subscription-only, but once again I got it without a subscription).
Here's my favorite quote from Reuters:
The newly found remains, dug up in 2004, consist of a jaw, as well as arm and other bones which the researchers believe were from at least nine individuals.
That's right, we're going back ... TO THE FUTURE! Here it's not even so bad -- I mean, these bones were found just last year. Just wait until they have to report on future past discoveries.
I'm keeping the embargo, so you can expect to see my review of the papers tomorrow afternoon. Yes, that's right -- this humble blog is keeping its word while MSM giants break theirs. Anyway, come back tomorrow for the real story.
In the meantime, enjoy this quote from New Scientist:
And in the light of the new finds, Morwood's team is itself moving away from the dwarfing theory. The hobbits have disproportionately long arms relative to their legs, and so cannot be scaled-down versions either of modern humans or Homo erectus, who have had the same body proportions for 1.6 million years.
They say that a more likely ancestral line goes back to australopithecine species such as 3-million-year-old "Lucy", found in Ethiopia (Australopithecus afarensis).
"The combination of skeletal attributes that [the hobbits] share is not found in any modern human," says team member Peter Brown. "The bones of the hands and feet don't look like those of arboreal apes, but like everything else to do with Homo floresiensis, they are not like humans either."
I'm certainly enjoying it.