‘Hobbit’ was ‘iodine-deficient human, not another species’September 29th, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Sep 29 (ANI): The debate over the origins of so-called Homo floresiensis-the ‘hobbit’-has been re-ignited as scientists have claimed that it was nothing but the iodine-deficient species of human.
Charles Oxnard of the University of Western Australia’s Emeritus and his colleagues have reconfirmed, on the post-cranial skeleton, their original finding on the skull that Homo floresiensis in fact bears the hallmarks of humans-Homo sapiens-affected by hypothyroid cretinism.
The remains, allegedly as recent as 15,000 years, were discovered in 2003 in the Liang Bua caves on the Indonesian island of Flores by archaeologists seeking evidence of the first human migration from Asia to Australia.
When Professor Oxnard and fellow Oz researchers suggested in 2008 that the skull showed evidence of endemic dwarf cretinism resulting from congenital hypothyroidism and were not a new species of human, their claim caused controversy.
In order to test their thesis, Oxnard and his team have summarised data on the rest of the skeleton and mathematically compared the bones of cretins in relation to chimpanzees, unaffected humans and H. floresiensis.
They used two methods with different statistical bases: principal components analyses (PCA) and non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (MDS).
Their work has confirmed the close grouping of H. floresiensis with the hypothyroid cretins, and the clear separation from both modern humans and from chimpanzees.
This has lead them to conclude that the Liang Bua remains were indeed most likely cretins from a population of unaffected H. sapiens.
“This is consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali,” Science Daily quoted Oxnard as saying.
“Cretinism is caused by various environmental factors including iodine deficiency — a deficiency which would have been present on Flores at the period to which the dwarfed Flores fossils are dated,” he added.
The findings appeared in a paper in PLoS ONE. (ANI)
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- Fossils of giant bird discovered on 'hobbit' island of Flores - Dec 08, 2010
- The "hobbit" evolved separate to humans - Jul 31, 2009
- Skulls of ancient hippos shed light on origin of Hobbit's brain - May 09, 2009
- Geneticists to drill 18,000-year-old 'hobbit' tooth to extract DNA - Jan 06, 2011
- 'Hobbit' a genuine ancient human species, say scientists - Nov 21, 2009
- 'Iodine deficiency leaves third of world population at risk' - Jul 05, 2012
- 'Hobbit' was a dwarf with large feet - May 07, 2009
- Humans and 'hobbits' may have existed together - Aug 04, 2009
- Hobbit might have been human suffering from stunted growth - Mar 05, 2008
- 2 mln yr old skulls rewrite history of humankind - Sep 09, 2009
- Two million year old skeletons discovered - Nov 18, 2011
- New human 'ancestor' revealed - May 22, 2010
- Hobbit's brain, though small, was souped up with complex intelligence - Apr 04, 2009
- New study suggests earliest humans were not very different from us - Feb 15, 2011
Tags: archaeologists, chimpanzees, congenital hypothyroidism, cretins, endemic cretinism, hallmarks, homo floresiensis, human migration, hypothyroidism, indonesian island, iodine deficiency, island of bali, island of flores, liang bua, nearby island, new species of human, oxnard, principal components, science daily, university of western australia