×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ancient Bones of Small Humans Discovered In Palau

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the making-a-hobbit-of-it dept.

Science 129

seattle-pk writes to let us know about the discovery in the Pacific island nation of Palau of thousands of human bones, some quite diminutive. The find is likely to rekindle the debate about how to classify the remains found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. "Some of the bones are ancient and indicate inhabitants of particularly small size, scientists announced today. The remains are between 900 and 2,900 years old and align with Homo sapiens, according to a paper on the discovery. However, the older bones are tiny and exhibit several traits considered primitive, or archaic, for the human lineage."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

129 comments

Remnants (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720202)

From the third age...

Jeremiah Cornelius, stick your joke in your CORNHO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22720302)

le
]fudgepacka!

Perhaps... (3, Funny)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720868)

...although I also hear that they found an ancient road apparently made from unusual yellow bricks as well as a strangely built ruins of a wooden tomb which only seems to contain the upper half of a female skeleton.

Re:Perhaps... (4, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721742)

Thats just barely more weird than what they have found in the area. I mean seriously, that is a totally freaky-deaky area.
One of the lesser things is Palau money beads; they have found these beads, which were used as currency by the islanders, in burial sites that are from 600-900AD. The Exact Same type of bead can be found in Roman Jewelry of the Republican period.
Other finds of these beads on surrounding islands gives a little validity to the idea that there was an ancient Micronesian Kingdom that had Pohnpei as it's capital, and included Flores (um, Bree to slashdotters).
Some of the big stone disc money found on yap has been proven to have come from from Palau. It was on Yap that evidence was first found of an ancient Alphabet & writing system; examples of it have since been found on The Marianas, Palau, Pohnpei & Kosrae.
And Pohnpei is perhaps the freakiest place of all. out in the middle of nowhere there are gigantic ruins of an immense stone city called Nan Madol, built out of gigantic magnetized crystalline basalt and carbon dated to at least 200BC. There are man-made tunnels honeycombing the area.
After that you get into the areas influence on HP Lovecraft, Japanese Platinum Coffins, underwater cities at the end of some of the tunnels, etc.
But hearing that there are remnants of an unknown subspecies of man, or even a separate branch, in that area isn't very surprising.
Finding an actual yellow brick road there wouldn't even surprise me that much.

Re:Perhaps... (2, Funny)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22723872)

Something deep in the recesses of my mind strikes a chord here...
I vaguely remember a story that a Roman ship was lost and some Roman remains found on a pacific island somewhere.
Mind you, it could have been a movie I saw once.
Anyway, if hey do find that wooden hut with remains of a female half buried under it, would someone please check if she's got any shoes on?

And why is there a strong similarity of Tibetan/Nepalese head-dress with Islander head-dress?
What's happening?? Why is the room spinning???

PS Being a Libertarian in a repressive society gives me a sense of freedom, but that's all.

Re:Perhaps... (1)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22722226)

Buttercup: Wesley, what about the HoUSS'es?!?!

Wesley: Humanoids of Particularly Small Size? I don't think they exist.

So... (4, Informative)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720258)

... midgets (or little people if you prefer) existed many years ago?

Re:So... (5, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720516)

Of course. They were created along with the mountain and the trees.

Re:So... (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720612)

Haha funny you mention that. Whatever your origin-of-life stance is, the point of my parent post is how is this article news? I mean anthropology can be interesting and all, but this seems like an underwhelming crossover into "news for nerds." This isn't earth shattering news for anyone, whether evolutionist or creationist.

Re:So... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721010)

I mean anthropology can be interesting and all, but this seems like an underwhelming crossover into "news for nerds."
No, but it makes for some good flamewars, which is a source of amusement to the slashdot mods.

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721030)

It may not be earth shattering, but if there was a species (or subspecies) in the Homo line that could be defined by a radically different form (ie tiny size below anything seen in modern times), that would be interesting.

The human lineage is mostly made up of multiple snapshots, most of whom are probably no direct relation to anyone alive (ie any random Homo skull dug up is more likely than not part of a lineage similar to ours, but not precisely the same). Finding new populations is always fascinating, regardless of relation.

They could just be midgets, but the ratios make that unlikely.

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22722352)

"any random Homo skull dug up is more likely than not part of a lineage similar to ours,"

If they're homos, they don't have any descendents.

Re:So... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22723518)

if there was a species (or subspecies) in the Homo line that could be defined by a radically different form (ie tiny size below anything seen in modern times), that would be interesting.

The real question is do they have beards or furry feet?

Re:So... (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721888)

What? After the H. Florensis controversy? Gee, it's only the biggest fight in anthropology since the Piltdown Man. How is finding another population of diminutive archaics dated to modern times not huge news? Are you maybe not aware of the ramifications of a 3 foot high, tool making sapian who appeared to swing from branches? (not to be read as a statement of fact, the jury is still out)

I mean, I can understand you might not be too interested, but most people with an interest in physical anthropology will be.

Quick conclusions (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720650)

Someone modded you troll while I was writing this response. For what it's worth I don't think your comment was at all troll-like.

I thought the article leaned a little too far towards the "hobbit" conclusions and didn't even ask if they were children or even how old they might have been. It's a fascinating discovery and maybe they are some kind of branch species, but it seems more likely, like your comment and TFA suggested, that their diet and inbreeding may have led to them being "midgets."

Re:Quick conclusions (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720720)

Hey thank you for your comment. I was definitely not trolling even though I knew the troll mod would be forthcoming. I did find TFA very interesting although I didn't find it to be especially earth-shattering...

I'm a Dumbfuck Moderator (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22720260)

I'm such a dumbfuck taht I can't legitimately argue a point, so I'll just mod you down.

I am a retard, and I moderate on Slashdot.

Not new (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720262)

Look up the Bog people. There is an exhibit on them at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. They were all tiny people. Plus the Bog actually preserved their bodies as well.

Re:Not new (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720562)

Look up the Bog people

They a e the Bo g. esistance is futile.

(there was a serious "R" shortage back then)

Re:Not new (4, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720728)

"(there was a serious "R" shortage back then)"

Ahh, the time before Pirates.

Re:Not new (4, Funny)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720918)

Or right after... as the pirates had used up the supply and it took some time to get more.

Hornswaggle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22721514)

T'was the slimy French and thar wast'ful 'silent arrrrs'.

Re:Not new (1)

KP Cubed (1240012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721556)

Yes before the Pirates. Activists created a movement attempting to prove that prehistoric man was changing the world by over usage of "R". the governments then passed laws forcing people not to use R's. The pirates were the final result as the earth adjusted mans mistakes by creating people to use all the excess 'R's.

Re: B og Peop e (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721396)

Maybe they were Blog people.

Writings in the sand are almost as durable as websites that people don't fund.

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22723572)

Look up the Bog people. There is an exhibit on them at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. They were all tiny people.

Well, make up your mind -- were they bog or little?

Puny Humans (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720322)

Found in a thousand-year-old text in a museum in New New York:

Puny Humans, One day my race will destroy you all!
- Morbo, 1000 A. D., modern-day Palau

Of course, by modern-day, it means ancient.

I don't understand??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22720330)

who cares about some smelly old niggers

Badly needed tag (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22720358)

Where's the tricksyhobbitses tag when you need it?

The luck o' the Irish! (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720442)

Glory be, Leprechans found in the South Pacific just before Saint Patrick's Day! I wonder if they found any whiskey bottles or Guiness there as well? And pots of gold?

I'd link me latest wee journal (Sane Patty's Day) if the bloomin' mods wouldn't mod me offtopic. Oi'll drink to yer health tonight! Cheers!

-mcgrew

Re:The luck o' the Irish! (2, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720522)

They're not Leprechauns, idiot.

They're trolls.

Duh.

Re:The luck o' the Irish! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720968)

I thought trolls were giant stoners? That's what Tolkien would have me believe...

Re:The luck o' the Irish! (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22722054)

In fact, they are all closely related to the [small brained] trolls that post on slashdot. (although ... they are more correctly called dwarfs. (which is politically incorrect, as dwarfs prefer the term "little people") ... which still accurately defines the trolls ...

Small things amuse small minds!

alpha build.. (5, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720484)

Silly everyone.

These are just the pre-alpha build humans that god made while he was in the preliminary human creation development cycle. Height wasn't increased until Homo-Sapiens RC-1.

I mean really, if you're going to go poring over dev code, you've got to expect some pretty weird stuff.

Re:alpha build.. (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721082)

you forgot to mention it was only 500 years ago as well.

otherwise it might not fit into the Standard Model of Creationism.

More information... (1)

pdxp (1213906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721760)

... on the General Organization of Development (GOD) and the human creation development cycle here [youtube.com] .

I think they left out the pre-alpha stage description to avoid criticizing GOD's ability to create a stable release.

No word in the article... (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720560)

...as to whether there's any effort to use archaeological DNA extraction techniques to solve the mystery. Earlier Slashdot stories have covered extracting DNA from bones, teeth and (best of all) hair. If the DNA is roughly human and includes evidence of the genetic defect causing the suspected form of dwarfism, then the bones are human. If the DNA can't be sequenced that thoroughly, but the mtDNA shows bones definitely human are direct descendents of bones of uncertain origin, then the bones of uncertain origin cannot be a distinct species. I can understand there being concern over DNA extraction (which tends to be very destructive) when there's very little material, but that's no longer the case. I can also understand concern when there were very few labs capable of the work, but there is such a glut of DNA companies these days that many are barely surviving and are cutting jobs.

Yes, the work costs money and research grants tend to be minimal, but if the researchers in either camp really wanted answers, they'd find the money. Complicating things further, research funding tends to be proportional on papers published and/or cited. Arguing over the facts gets multiple papers published. Getting hard data gets one paper published. Ergo, it not only costs money now to get hard data, there are costs in the form of reduced funding later. The "best" outcome, from the perspective of the various departments and groups, is therefore to never resolve anything but to continually discover just enough to be able to keep publishing. Vroomfondle would be proud.

Re:No word in the article... (2, Informative)

Jens Egon (947467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721494)

As I understand it, there is little chance of recovering DNA traces in the tropics, too hot for presevation.

Re:No word in the article... (2, Interesting)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22722000)

You are right that the conditions that these bones were found in (hot, damp cave by the sea) are probably among the worst you could store DNA in, given a big enough sample, modern (and expensive) techniques might be able to pull something out. At least small amounts of DNA have been sequenced from material that was considered useless a few years ago.

how small? (3, Informative)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720574)

Single page, ad free version [nationalgeographic.com]

And the money shot (missing for the summary):

The smaller, older bones represent people who were 3 to 4 feet (94 to 120 centimeters) tall and weighed between 70 and 90 pounds (32 and 41 kilograms), according to the paper.

Re:how small? (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720624)

How small, you ask? Why are we soooo focused on size? Size doesn't matter. Ask my wife.......oh wait..........uh....strike that.

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22720686)

With this discovery instead of filling the gap in our evolutionary record we instead now have two gaps in the place of one! If these discoveries continue then it is obvious that the number of gaps is going to drastically increase.

Just don't call them "small" (0)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720690)

Because the next thing you know they'll strip naked and trick you into kissing them on the lips. Soon after you'll be escorted away by two police officers who will charge you with sexual assault on a minor while everyone else in the high school points and laughs at you.

Trust me.

God put them there. (0, Flamebait)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720774)

I assure you that God put them there to test your faith. This has nothing to do with evolution. Don't forget to donate money to your church.

.haeger

im an atheist (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720954)

and i'm sick of this sort of comment posted. not everything has to be a rip on religion. seeing how this is a science blog and i'm sure the overwhelming majority share similar views as you and I - can slashdot stick to discussing the merits of the science-type-stuff unless the article actually has something to do with religion? If it's about the creationism museum in Kansas, that's a different story of course. Or if you have a comment thats truly funny, then sure. otherwise I wish there was a (-1, Boring Cliche) tag. offtopic would work well I suppose.

Re:im an atheist (0, Troll)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721386)

You're right. It's a boring cliché, but so is religion. And as long as someone keeps claiming that evolution is a myth I'll keep poking fun at them, even if it's not fun for you.
Looking at the mod-points there's at least one person who thought it was funny and one who found it "Interesting" which is interesting in itself. :-)

.haeger

it's long been known in zoology (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720846)

island flora and fauna undergo size changes to either gigantic sizes not seen on the continent (for example, the komodo dragon), or to diminuitive sizes (the pygmy rhino, for example). it's called the island rule [pbs.org]

there's no reason then to be surprised that this effect works on human beings as well. as it is, modern malay and austronesian peoples living on southeast asian islands are generally a little smaller than people from the mainland (generally... the dayak people of borneo are quite tall). and their migrational wave is very recent in human history. so this size change tirck is very easy and quick to pull off

many people who find news of these hobbit sized archeological fossils in flores and now in palau (just a quick jump from mindanao in the philippines) will be even more suprised to find out that tiny ancient remnant people are very much alive in the philippines: the aeta

in the big islands of the philippines and other big southeast asian islands there are remnants of melanesian peoples like you see on papua new guinea, deep in the mountains, in tiny, nearly extinct groups that fiercely resist contact and integration into modern society. these people were there long before the austronesian people overwhelmed the coast and eventually everywhere else except the isolated mountains where they cling to existence

the aeta on luzon [wikipedia.org] . these people are quite tiny

and yes, you can find still living remnants and historical recollections of these ancient tiny dwarf peoples even on japan, taiwan, thailand, and mainland china [cwo.com]

Very similar groups of Black people in Asia reside in relative small numbers in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand in Southeast Asia. In Thailand they are commonly called Sakai. In Malaysia they have been called Orang Asli (Original Man). Pejoratively they are known as Semang, with the connotation of savage. It is very unfortunate that the contributions of these small Black people to monumental high-cultures characterized by urbanization, metallurgy, agricultural science and scripts remain essentially unexamined.

The presence of diminutive Africoids (whom Chinese historians called "Black Dwarfs") in early southern China during the period of the Three Kingdoms (ca. 250 C.E.) is recorded in the book of the Official of the Liang Dynasty (502-556 C.E.). In Taiwan there are recollections of a group of people now said to be extinct called "Little Black Man."

"They were described as short, dark-skinned people with short curly hair....These people, presumably Negritos, disappeared about 100 years ago. Their existence was mentioned in many Chinese documents of the Ching Dynasty concerning Taiwan."

Similar groups of Black people have been identified in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, and it seems almost certain that at one time a belt of Black populations of this type covered much of Asia.


so if one were to extrapolate to even smaller islands, to even further back in time, it is not surprising at all to imagine entire islands of hobbit sized people on islands all over southeast asia. really not surprising at all. all since wiped out though, a long time ago. if one studies the history of the haast eagle or the moa on new zealand (island giants) after the maori arrived, one gains an appreciation for how fragile island ecosystems are that most every zoologist possesses. and, by extension, how fragile island peoples are, culturally and genetically (disease and such) when contact with the wider world is established

however, this whole notion of separate species is rather doubtful. they probably were entirely homo sapiens. if one understands that smallness in size is not a very hard trick to pull off genetically for any creature to evolve quite quickly and comprise very little genetic change, then one can see tiny island people in man's recent past is not very strange at all

My understanding... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721102)

...is that the reasons for the different species claim are that the brain cavity shows differences from those found in diminutive humans and that the tools found are more advanced than might be expected from human brains scaled down to the same degree. Neither of these are convincing or definitive, but they are suggestive that this isn't simply the Island Rule or one of the genetic conditions identified as causing dwarfism. One of the problems with the research limiting itself to structure and form is that large genetic changes can produce very little change in form, but also very small genetic changes can produce gigantic changes in form. When studying fossils, you're kinda limited, but these are a paltry few hundred years old. Human bones and Neanderthal teeth in conditions just as hostile to complex organic molecules have yielded usable mtDNA and nucleic DNA when nearly a hundred times that age.

yes, good point (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721228)

you can talk about modern malays showing somewhat smaller size due to the island rule, and the earlier remant negrito populations throughout southeast asia representing an earlier wave of migration, showing an even greater island rule effect

then there is no reason to postulate an even earlier wave, or waves, of homo sapiens or earlier human relatives, showing an extreme island rule effect in terms of their body size, now all since extinct. perhaps one can say that southeast asian islands represent the last toehold of pre-homo sapien relatives. perhaps about the same time we were slaughtering the last mammoth in siberia, an early melanesian homo sapien was arriving on an island and slaughtering the last of the our non homo sapien relatives somewhere in a southeast asia. or maybe he just sneezed on him and killed off our last non homo sapien relative thataways

but, as you admit, changing overall body size is such an easy and quick genetic trick, it's really hard to tell who was what and when. i really do hope they find some remnant dna

Re:it's long been known in zoology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22721548)

Maybe they were kept as slaves. Or bred as pets.

Re:it's long been known in zoology (2)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721648)

island flora and fauna undergo size changes to either gigantic sizes not seen on the continent (for example, the komodo dragon), or to diminuitive sizes (the pygmy rhino, for example). it's called the island rule
I read the article you linked to, and it was very informative. It also makes intuitive sense that a relatively small isolated population of any species could tend to change size over time. In large populations, such as those on continents, the large number of individuals will keep the average sizes relatively constant barring any significant evolutionary pressure to change sizes. In the small populations on isolated islands, random "mutations" to be larger or smaller are much more likely to significantly affect the average in the population. Compounded with even slight evolutionary pressure, changes can happen much more rapidly.

Re:it's long been known in zoology (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721690)

as it is, modern malay and austronesian peoples living on southeast asian islands are generally a little smaller than people from the mainland (generally... the dayak people of borneo are quite tall). and their migrational wave is very recent in human history. so this size change tirck is very easy and quick to pull off

That's not exactly compelling. Minor size differences can happen in a generation, just due to differences in nutrition. Without DNA evidence that genetic changes are entirely the cause, it doesn't indicate a larger phenomenon (island effect) at work that could exaggerate size differences further.

You could look at the US, and come to the conclusion that human are evolving to be shorter and fatter, even though there's no genetic change involved, and so a hard upper limit to that change in physical appearance.

Frustrating (1)

MrVictor (872700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720850)

To find out that such interesting creatures walked the earth in historical times and died out before there was a chance to study them. They were only a whisper away from us.

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22721324)

Interestingly, they became extinct around the same time as the giant moa [wikipedia.org] from roughly the same area (south Pacific). Makes you wonder if there's a connection.

That HAS to be a typo... (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720874)

"The remains are between 900 and 2,900 years old and align with Homo sapiens..."

That has to be a typo. Did they miss the word "thousand" before the word "years" perhaps?

Re:That HAS to be a typo... (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22722818)

No, if they were that old, they wouldn't have lived at the same time as homo sapiens. Considering the recent flores find, 1000 years BC is not so hard to believe. Note that the younger bones are from regular humans, its the older ones that are interesting.

genetic isolation... (3, Interesting)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22720882)

I think that this doesn't really have anything to do with the Flores skeleton. TFA says that the bones would appear to be within the species Homo sapiens, and don't have the small brain size of the Flores find. There are oddities beyond the height (small eye sockets, some lack chins), but apparently nothing really out there. From TFA:

The early Palauans' limited diet, combined with a tropical climate, absence of predators, a small founding population, and genetic isolation, may have produced "these very odd features and very small body size," Berger said.

TFA also notes that there were no big animals to exploit on the island, and apparently no fishing until much later. So it really seems like just a regular human population that was small and isolated and changed in odd ways, rather than a distinct species or anything like that.

Well, at least that's less than 6000 years back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22721138)

EDMOND -- The Oklahoma House of Representatives Education Committee has just approved House Bill 2211. The bill is expected to pass the full House, and then to go to the Senate. Its authors describe it as promoting freedom of religion in the public schools. In fact, it does the opposite. [edmondsun.com] ...

The bill requires public schools to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. If a student's religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student's incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory, according to this bill.

The school would be required to reward the student with a good grade, or be considered in violation of the law. Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student's belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct. Science education becomes absurd under such a situation.

If a student chose to take his opportunity to speak to a group of students in a school-sanctioned assembly to tell them they must accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior or go to hell, then that student would have a right to do so, according to this bill. Especially, but not only if the student held a position of honor and authority (class officer, team captain), and was speaking in his or her official capacity, the school has clearly established religion in violation of both the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.
...

It looks like the creationists are really getting their way.

So... (3, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721262)

The smaller, older bones represent people who were 3 to 4 feet (94 to 120 centimeters) tall and weighed between 70 and 90 pounds (32 and 41 kilograms), according to the paper.
They found a grade 5 classroom?

Re:So... (1)

Gigaflynn (1008043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721660)

nah,

its just ASIMO's more organic cousins

they became extinct because they fell down some stairs and got stuck there,

poor fellas

Cave featured in upcoming "Bone Detective" episode (4, Informative)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721740)

I was just visiting some friends who are living in Palau and we went right by this cave on a snorkeling trip. One of the friends is a PA (physician's assistant) and recently served as the medical support for a crew shooting an episode of the Discovery show "Bone Detective." One of their sites was this cave.

The archaeology and anthropology of Palau is poorly researched and there is little known about the ancient cultures that lived there. My wife is an anthropologist who works at the Smithsonian and had trouble finding much material on Palau to read before travelled there.

The archaeology may also be endangered. On a sea kayaking trip in Nikko Bay, off the island of Babeldaob, we visited another cave that was known to have bones in it. But the bones were gone, and there was evidence of a hasty digging project in the floor of the cave. It was definitely not a research dig--no gridlines, no brushes or sifts, just a big hole that had clearly been dug with a shovel. We speculated that the recent attention had inspired some people to collect antiquities to sell. Hopefully that does not accelerate.

we're not in Kansas anymore Toto (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721752)

The remains are between 900 and 2,900 years old
Nothing like science to narrow it down... We're off to see the wizard....the wonderful wizard of oz...

Re:we're not in Kansas anymore Toto (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22721908)

I really don't see what your complaint is. Modern humans have existed for about 200,000 years. So they've narrowed the possible time period to 1% of that range and you're not impressed?

The range "900 to 2900 years" seems large because 900 years seems a lot more recent than 2900 years. But when you compare with the actual range it could have fallen in it's actually pretty narrow.

strange as it may be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22721832)

Strange as it may be, this sort of finding actually helps prove that the Bible is authentic. David was a little guy and he slew a giant... before that there were Giant "fallen angels" in the early parts of the Bible. Since there's scientific proof that there were little guys and giants, there's scientific proof to validate some of these biblicaly based stories that previously some indicated couldn't possibly be true since there weren't any little people or giants around back then.

Skull not bones (3, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22723328)

The point is not bone size but skull shape. The Flores skull is exactly the same as a Homo Erectus with the exception of brain size. The brain size doesn't match proportions of either humans or Erectus. It's possible that Flores broke off from the family tree before Erectus. The disease theories don't take into account all the skull differences. I've seen lots of Erectus skulls and that was my gut reaction the first time I saw it. It looks like an Erectus child except it's an adult skull. No one has explained the differences in the teeth and that can't be caused by brain disease let alone brow and face differences. Pygmies look like regular humans. Flores didn't.

Not hobbits... (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22723720)

Nonono, these people were not hobbits, or elves, or leprechauns. They were on an island (and not Ireland), which makes them...

Lilliputians [wikipedia.org] !
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...