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Ref ID: 27846
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Gordon, Adam D.
Nevell, Lisa
Wood, Bernard
Title: The <i>Homo floresiensis</i> cranium (LB1): size scaling and early <i>Homo</i> affinities
Date: 2008
Source: PNAS
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0710041105
Abstract: The skeletal remains of a diminutive small-brained hominin found in Late Pleistocene cave deposits on the island of Flores, Indonesia were assigned to a new species,<i>Homo floresiensis</i> [Brown P, et al. (2004) A new small bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431: 1055-1061]. A dramatically different interpretation is that this material belongs not to a novel hominin taxon but to a population of small-bodied modern humans affected, or unaffected, by microcephaly. The debate has primarily focused on the size and shape of the endocranial cavity of the type specimen, LB1, with less attention being paid to the morphological evidence provided by the rest of the LB1 cranium and postcranium, and no study thus far has addressed the problem of how scaling would affect shape comparisons between a diminutive cranium like LB1 and the much larger crania of modern humans. We show that whether or not the effects of its small cranial size are accounted for, the external cranial morphology of the LB1 cranium cannot be accommodated within a large global sample of normal modern human crania. Instead the shape of LB1, which is shown by multivariate analysis to differ significantly from that of modern humans, is similar to that of <i>Homo erectus sensu lato</i>, and to a lesser extent,<i> Homo habilis</i>. Our results are consistent with hypotheses that suggest the Liang Bua specimens represent a diminutive population closely related to either <i>H. erectus s. I.</i> from East Africa and/or Dmanisi or to <i>H. habilis</i>.
Date Created: 1/27/2016
Volume: 105
Number: 12
Page Start: 4650
Page End: 4655