Return of the Microcephalic Hobbit

The Sunday Times in the UK reported yesterday on an upcoming paper that claims that the ever-fascinating Homo floresiensis (a k a the Hobbit) is not a new species, as previously reported. Instead, it was a human with a genetic defect called microcephaly that gave it a small head.

This is a long-standing criticism, but only a couple papers based on it have been published since the Hobbit fossils were discovered almost two years ago. The article doesn’t have a lot of details. When the new paper comes out (in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) I guess we’ll get more.

For my previous hobbit tales, go here.

Update: 4/21 12:30 pm: PNAS was keeping the paper under embargo, but now with the Times story out, they’ve lifted it. So there’s a flood of information out now:


John Noble Wilford in the New York Times

John Noble Wilford in the New York Times

Press release from Penn State

Still no paper posted yet at PNAS’s own web site, though…

Update, 8/22 9:50 am: John Hawks muses.

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet