What’s happening with Homo floresiensis?

Carl Zimmer presents a timeline of the Homo floresiensis story, with a summary of the latest paper that casts doubt on its status as a legitimate species. Bottom line: it’s still unsettled! As usual, the answer is only going to come from more digging and more data on the populations that lived on Ling Bua.


  1. CrispyShot says

    Aw, nuts. I read “Homo fluorensis”, and thought it was some kind of cool DNA-splicing project to create bioluminescent humans. Turns out my Latin sucks as much as my reading skills.

  2. says

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t get over the nagging suspicion that H. floresiensis is a hoax. The sealing of the discovery site and the behaviour of the Indonesian paeleontologist are a little too hinky for my taste.

  3. Anton Mates says

    The Indonesian palaeontologist (Teuku Jacob) is against H. floresiensis being a new species, though. And his shady behavior (IIRC the sealing of the discovery site is due to him) damages his credibility as a naysayer, IMO. If he wants this resolved, he needs to throw his weight behind further exploration of the site, and he seems very reluctant to do that. We need more bones!

  4. KL says

    One of the documentary/cable channels (History? Discovery?) recently had an hour-long on this topic, which seemed to cover basically every point Zimmer does. In hindsight, I’m impressed by the good quality of the thing.

  5. NelC says

    I look at the floresiensis skull and I see something that’s a lot closer to an erectus skull than a sapiens’. The major difference to erectus is that the eyes are proportionately bigger, as you’d probably expect. But compared to sapiens, the differences seem as big as the differences between Flores and a chimpanzee.