quote:The new discoveries include missing parts of the old skeleton - designated LB1 after the caved dig site at Liang Bua - and a collection of other bones, such as jaw and cranial fragments, a vertebra, arm and leg bones, toes and fingers.
Jaw and cranial fragments should be sufficent to demonstrate a matching skull, shouldn't they?
The jaw should help if it has (or doesn't have) the double-rooted teeth. The fragments - well it will depend on the reconstruction. Unless they're pretty large it could just fuel the controversy as the sides dispute attempts at putting the fragments together.
The key conclusion of the paper is that these fossils look a lot like the original Hobbit bones reported last year. The new jaw, for example, has the same peculiar roots on its teeth as the old one, and both also lack a chin. If the original Hobbit was just a pathological human, the authors argue, then all of these new individuals would have to be pathological too. And the fact that these fossils span 80,000 years makes it even harder to hold the pathology argument.
The discovery of a small-bodied hominin from the late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia, caused a great deal of interest. Its classification as a new species was controversial, but now there is more evidence for the endemic human species, Homo floresiensis. The remains excavated at Liang Bua on Flores include another tiny adult mandible, 15,000 years old, and the right arm bones of the original find, known as LB1. The new findings confirm the presence of a long-term dwarfed population from before 74,000 to 12,000 years ago and argue against the idea that LB1 was an individual with a growth disorder. There is also evidence for the use of fire, and butchery of the mammoth-like Stegodon.
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More evidence for hobbit unearthed as diggers are refused access to cave http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7061/full/437934a.html
Palaeoanthropology: Further fossil finds from Flores http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7061/full/437957a.html
Further evidence for small-bodied hominins from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7061/full/nature04022.html ("1st paragraph" is same as above)
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When you say 'in a more traditional manner" do you mean to suggest that fossils are often broken using some 'traditional' technique of measurement? I have no problems with alternative hypotheses to explain the fossils. (Although with the recent finds, I think the case for mutation has fallen apart.) I have problems with the most acclaimed anthopologist of Indonesia screwing up fossils of immense value to all of humanity.
The problem is that the conditions which the bones were in was not condusive for the preservation of DNA. I am sure they will want to try to extract DNA. That does not mean they will be successful. I know I want them to be able to.