Found in 2004 on the Indonesian island of Flores hominid remains long been identified as one of the "lost links" of human development. These creatures, for his small stature was nicknamed "the Indonesian hobbits", inhabited Southeast Asia about 18,000 years ago. Recent studies have shown that in fact the remains do not belong to one of the ancestors of people, and a parallel branch of humanity.
"Indonesian Hobbits", which was given the scientific name Homo floresienses, had a height of about one meter and weighs 30 kilograms. Their brain volume of 400 cubic centimeters — three times less than that of modern man and is comparable in size to the brains of chimpanzees. However they are distinguished from apes walking upright and the creation of a primitive social order.
Despite the expected modest intelligence, "hobbits" were able to make stone tools and ornaments. They have adapted to life cave systems, covering the island of Flores. The basis of their existence were hunting and gathering.
Scientists have long tried to determine the place occupied by Homo floresienses in the evolutionary tree of humanity. Put forward various theories, but they all had a number of defects or the facts.
On one of these hypotheses suggest that the "Hobbits" are normal people with clear signs of degradation in the brain. Some anthropologists have suggested that the region was extended some hereditary disease, which resulted in dementia and physical degeneration.
However, against this hypothesis found hominid footprints — they see that thumbs strongly dismissed from the foot and tilted at an angle. This structure is characteristic number of primates, but not Homo sapiens.
There are other assumptions. For example, some scientists believe that the "Hobbits" are the ancestors of modern tribes of pygmies in Africa and Asia. But in this case, the scientific facts speak against — too much of a difference in the structure of
The last point on this issue put two scientific discoveries made in recent years on the various parts of the world — all on the same island of Flores, and South Africa. Continued excavation habitat hominid brought a number of new findings, among which were the remains of Homo floresienses, who lived about the year 6000 BC At that time already happened becoming the first state formations of Lower Egypt and China, and Homo sapiens as a species has almost completed its evolution.
The second finding of archaeologists have skeletons of ancient pygmy hippos found on the island of Madagascar. Comparison of these creatures to modern hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) and pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), as well as the ancient cloven-hoofed animals, have revealed that they have a common ancestor. However, the relocation of the island and the subsequent isolation has led to a substantial modification.
Biologists have long noted that the representatives of one species can evolve in different ways, depending on the environmental conditions. Thus, the island being always smaller in size compared to the mainland. Subsequently, this difference can affect the way of life, diet and nutrition. This rule is true for most living organisms.
Comparison of these facts led to the formation of a clear theory that describes the origin of Homo floresienses. According to her, "The Hobbit" are an isolated group of Homo erectus, which reached the islands of Southeast Asia about a million years ago. The process of natural selection in isolation has led to the fact that these hominids were much lower than the growth of its continental neighbors.
Thus, we can say that Homo floresienses once represented a separate branch of humanity, like the Neanderthals. A community of hominids evolved independently and did not have any contact with Homo sapiens. As for the causes of their extinction, then they could be climate change or epidemics deadly disease, but it is safe to say that humanity is not involved in this.