back to article 'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin

The skull of one “Hobbit” found on the Indonesian island of Flores was in no way human, according to new analysis of the creatures' skulls. The skeletal remains of the nine very-human-looking creatures found on Flores in 2003 have sparked two distinct origin theories. In one camp are those scientists who feel the small …

  1. Mystic Megabyte

    Homo Trumpus?

    "As reported by Agence France Presse, the new analysis shows that the skull shares no characteristics with skulls of genus Homo."

    My theory is that all politicians descended from that part of the woods.

    Can we have a no joke icon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Homo Trumpus?

      I have to disagree with you. Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Homo Trumpus?

        Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from.

        Oi, watch it! Some of my best friends are slime.

      2. Dr. Mouse

        Re: Homo Trumpus?

        Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from.

        Hey! I think that's really insulting... to the myriad of bacteria who you are lumping in with such unevolved scum as politicians!

      3. TitterYeNot
        Coat

        Re: Homo Trumpus?

        "Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from."

        I'm afraid this statement is patently incorrect - bacteria occasionally do something useful such as providing vitamin B12 or making yoghurt etc., so can in no way be related to the species often found infesting the halls of power.

        After years of genetic analysis, it is now a well established fact that politicians (Hirudinea Sapiens) have evolved from leeches, developing a specialised snout-like organ for efficient feeding from any available trough.

        1. Richard Wharram

          Re: Homo Trumpus?

          Nah. Politicians arrived here from the B Ark.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

            Re: Homo Trumpus?

            Unless they evolved from slime moulds in the recent past

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Homo Trumpus?

          After years of genetic analysis, it is now a well established fact that politicians (Hirudinea Sapiens) have evolved from leeches, developing a specialised snout-like organ for efficient feeding from any available trough.

          I thought that was the evolution of lawyers and patent trolls... oh wait...

        3. PNGuinn
          FAIL

          Re: Homo Trumpus?

          "it is now a well established fact that politicians (Hirudinea Sapiens) have evolved from leeches"

          I call Bx unless conclusively prove that the Sapiens gene is recessive.

      4. Fungus Bob

        Re: Homo Trumpus?

        " Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from."

        No, politicians are what happens when you don't clean out the refrigerator often enough.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How about some more icons!

      Actually it would be good if El Reg allowed some more icons. We see someone saying "what about a <insert-whatever-you-like-here> icon" at least once a week, and sometimes more.

      What about it Vulture Master!

      1. PNGuinn
        Holmes

        Re: How about some more icons!

        Obligatory "We need a Vulture Master Icon".

        And a "Master Vulture icon"...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Homo Trumpus? - Politinitus?

      Politinitus: A sexually transmitted disease that causes its victims to crave political office. Example: Bush Presidents, British royalty etc.

  2. frank ly

    The subheading

    All that and you didn't say "... from Flores" ?

  3. hplasm
    Holmes

    Not Hobbits!?!?!

    Must be Orcs, then.

    1. Chika

      Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

      As long as it isn't Balrogs, I'm OK with whatever...

    2. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

      Well, yes, that has a certain Ring to it.

    3. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

      Maybe it's Dwarves, since they were created by Aule instead of Eru, so were a bit "different" than everybody else.

  4. israel_hands
    FAIL

    "...suggesting the creatures were an entirely different species to all those reading this article (Google robots excepted)"

    Fairly sure Google robots are also a different species to the "hobbits".

    1. Scott 53

      What about Sméagoogle robots?

      1. PNGuinn
        Thumb Up

        Re "What about Sméagoogle robots?"

        Well played, Sir.

  5. metooaswell

    very strange skull indeed if

    "the new analysis shows that the skull shares no characteristics with skulls of genus Homo."

    Really, no shared characteristics at all? 2 eyes? Nasal cavity? hinged jawbone? A little hollow where a brain might sit?

    Perhaps they meant to say it didn't share any of the characteristics uniquely exhibited by skulls of the genus Homo.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: very strange skull indeed if

      Characteristic that will be redefined to exclude those exhibited by hobbits.

      So there! Nah nah nah nah!

    2. Fink-Nottle

      Re: very strange skull indeed if

      > Really, no shared characteristics at all?

      Ooh, look ... a grammar Neanderthal.

      The way he assiduously bashes simple nouns and verbs together points to some skill in word use, but sadly the finished product indicates the creature possess only a low level of comprehension.

      Clearly does not share any characteristics with the modern Grammarius Nazius.

      1. Neanderthal Man

        Re: Ooh, look ... a grammar Neanderthal.

        HEY! THAT NOT NICE! Neanderthals smart, have bigger brainpan than silly "modern humans". We so smart we make space shuttle 40,000 years before you. We not know how make fire so it never launch - it slowly rust until it fall over one day, kill everyone.

    3. fishman

      Re: very strange skull indeed if

      Of course ,one of the most important things you can tell from a skull is that the way the backbone attached to the skull - indicates if it walked upright.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alien

    I don't want to imply it's Aliens

    But it's probably Aliens

    1. ukgnome

      Re: I don't want to imply it's Aliens

      Ancient Aliens?

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Hobbits!

    Is one missing a ring finger?

  8. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Coat

    So ...

    One does not simply walk into Flores...

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: So ...

      I recently wondered why they just didn't stick the hobbits on the backs of the eagles and flew straight to Mt Doom? Would have saved a lot of fannying about and (digital) 'celluloid'.

  9. Blipvert
    Alien

    When the scientists have finished with the remains...

    ...perhaps they'd like to study some live test subjects that are sat on the front bench of Her Majesty's Government?

  10. lee harvey osmond

    Sigh. Dwarves, not hobbits.

    Seven tiny humanoid skeletons found buried at the back of a cave.

    An international arrest warrant has been issued for a Miss S White.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Sigh. Dwarves, not hobbits.

      Issued by Huntsman & Queen I suppose?

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Sigh. Dwarves, not hobbits.

      That's Princess S White to you.

  11. imanidiot Silver badge
    Meh

    So...

    Simply some other sepecies of primate then?

  12. Alien8n

    Genome

    They still not sequenced the genome yet? They were talking about gene sequencing the hobbit back in 2011.

  13. Snowy Silver badge

    They musty be men

    The rhyme tell us so.

    Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

  14. earl grey
    Joke

    Bone.....Head.......Boffins

    Yes, it all depends on how you combine those three simple words.

  15. x 7

    so whats human?

    So how do you define "human"?

    Was Homo erectus human?

    Homo habilis?

    Homo antecessor?

    Homo neanderthalensis?

    They were all demonstrably not of "our" human species. Yet we are descended from them, and/or have part of their DNA. So were they human or not? The question depends more of conceptual notions of what makes us human, than it does on science. The floresiensis skeletons fit in there somewhere, but classifying them as human/not human is on a par with historic conventions regarding jews and blacks

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: so whats human?

      I'd say anything under the Homo genus is 'human' ... we don't know enough about the social relationships between members of each sub-species to say which one could be viewed as a more 'modern human' than another and so why introduce additional factionalism when it is not necessary.

      Modern humans could just be the lucky survivors of a particularly bad winter, that does not make them any 'better' than hobbits.

      1. x 7

        Re: so whats human?

        "I'd say anything under the Homo genus is 'human' "

        Exactly

        and thats precisely why I think the premise of this report is bunkum

        these "hobbits" clearly fit somewhere within the "Homo" category, saying anything else is just pointless pontification and guesswork

  16. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Coat

    Pity no soft tissue survived

    or they could simply look at the hairy feet to see if they were hobbits. Any round windows or doors in the cave would also be good hints

    All right, I should be going. The one with a ring in the pocketses

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to clarify...

    "'Island-dwarfing' is a known evolutionary phenomenon that sees species isolated on islands shrink."

    There's also the phenomenon of 'Island gigantism' that sees species isolated on islands enlarge.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Just to clarify...

      So is 'island-dwarfing' due to lack of nutritional food on the island and 'island gigantism' due to a surfeit of good food and/or lack of predators?

  18. Katie Saucey
    Alien

    Obviously they are the lost tribe of the Bikura, they weren't discovered by a certain Father Paul Duré were they? Oh wait we're not on Hyperion, or are we?

    1. israel_hands

      Strangely enough the bodies of the first team sent to investigate were found dead with numerous puncture wounds...

      ... 5 years before they were sent out.

  19. madick

    Misinformation or just a typographic error?

    "As reported by Agence France Presse, the new analysis shows that the skull shares none of the unique characteristics of skulls of genus Homo."

    No it doesn't! It reports that "There were no characteristics from our species — that is, Homo sapiens."

    There's a big difference between being a different species and being from a different genus.

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