I finally had time today to sit down and examine the "hobbit" skull. I draw a lot of faces and use photos and other items to study how faces are built upon the bones below. I took one look at the Hobbit's skull and it was immediately obvious it is not any homo sapiens. So I drew on top of it, following the contours. Meet the shy dweller deep in her lush forest as she leaves her Hobbit hole.
The scientists who revealed this astonishing find are very aggravated that news stories ran all over the place yesterday "debunking" their find. I was very angry about those stories, too, for there was no hard data to back up the contentions that this wonderful creature was just "a diseased human."
When I discussed in an email that the other finds of Homo floresiensis were being ignored, Alan Mann, professor of anthropology at Princeton University, reinforced Martin’s point of view in an online reply: “I am aware of the other, very fragmentary materials, but they show nothing of the features that would distinguish these guys from the very small living locals.”
Peter Brown, however, denounces this in an exclusive to Cryptomundo, and says critics should be asked “to point you at a human mandible with the same features as those from Liang Bua. Claiming that they have the same features as small local people is simply untrue.”
In October 2005, in Nature, Mike Morwood’s team described more fossil remains, including a mandible, arm and other similarly small bones from nine individuals. Two mandibles also share dental features and lack of a chin, a portion of the jaw common to all Homo sapiens regardless of size.
“We can now reconstruct the body proportions of H. floresiensis with some certainty,” the researchers wrote in the Oct. 11 online issue of the journal Nature. “The finds further demonstrate the LB1 … is not just an aberrant or pathological individual but is representative of a long-term population.”
I agree with them. My artist's eye which studies human faces closely all the time is strongly struck by the differences within the face of this....shy forest dweller.
First: the eye orbits are huge! As a proportion of the skull, much much larger than homo sapiens! Here is a classic microcephalic skull.
The orbits of the shy forest dwelling hobbit are huge while the microcephalic skull keeps the orbs in proportion to the face, unlike the hobbit, the face is scrunched up whereas the hobbit's face is open and clear with a long upper lip/nose and no chin whereas the human has a very sharp, obvious chin!
Here is a human skull and neandertal skull side by side.
Neither has huge eye orbs! Neither looks remotely like the hobbit. And both dwarf the hobbit's skull. The primitive tools found with the hobbit look like Archaean period tools not the later Stone Age tools, the hobbit's brains were smaller than homo sapiens or other near relatives but packed in more social/tool using skills than any of the older members of the Great Ape families.
Here is a homo erectus skull. Note how much more great apian it looks! Like a gorilla. Not like the hobbit's skull which looks more like small forest dwelling monkey skulls. Yet it is certainly very close to us, genetically. Much closer than the chimpanzee. The genetic differences were probably extremely small, less than 0.5%.
Also the teeth are not sharp. The jaw is wider at the hinge than ours probably for chewing on hard to chew plants and nuts. But a chimpanzee can rip a human apart with their sharp fangs, this gentle creature couldn't cause us much fear or harm!
Click on image to enlarge
Here is my scale of comparison. It is plainly obvious that the hobbit skull has some very strong non-homo sapiens aspects to it. The orbs are the same size as ours yet the head is much smaller plus the shape is totally different, the orbs being nearly totally round in the forest dweller and in humans, this oval shape that has a cruel edge to it's formation. Sagging downwards from the nose.
The noses are totally different. Humans have a bridge whereas the hobbit doesn't. The top of the nostrils in humans has a sharp upwards tilt while in the hobbit, this is missing entirely. The nose opening is the same size for both with the hobbit perhaps somewhat larger, again, a small human would have a small opening there.
The cheekbones stick out much sharper on the hobbit and no chin while it is the opposite in the human skull. Lastly, the tops of the heads are significantly different with probably the hobbit having more muscles attached to the top but not as many as the other Great Apes who have huge ridges there. This truly makes the hobbit well within the class of homo erectus-family groupings.
I really wish they were still running around in the forest, darting in and out of shafts of sunlight. What a tragedy they are no more!