Controversial 'Hobbit' Species Simply May Have Been Early Human With Down Syndrome

August 6, 2014 12:53 PM

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Controversial 'Hobbit' Species Simply May Have Been Early Human With Down Syndrome

When researchers unearthed fragments of several ancient skeletons on the small Indonesian island of Flores a decade ago, they thought they had discovered an entirely new human species. This hominid -- since then known officially as Homo floresiensis and informally as the "hobbit" human -- apparently stood three and one-half feet tall and had a brain about one-third the size of the brains of modern humans.

The tiny hominid bones... have quickly become as celebrated (and derided) as any find in the tempestuous history of human paleontology. The mystery that shrouds these ancient skeletons... seems to deepen with every study published. Two main camps have emerged, each certain they can settle the questi...

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