Pygmy vs. Hobbit

January 31, 2007

pygmyseahorse_blog.jpgAnother shot has been fired in the Hobbit vs. Pygmy debate regarding hominid skeletal remains found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. Some say it is a Hobbit (new species Homo floresiensis) and others say it is a Pygmy Homo sapien.

The problem is that while the Hobbit/Pygmy is quite small (brain size is 400 cm3 vs. 1400 cm3 for modern humans) they have found advanced tools and signs of advanced tool use in the excavation.

Really this is a battle of one Hobbit vs. Three Pygmies. The Hobbit is a new species of Homo. The Three Pygmies are subspecies/pygmies of one of three known Homo species. The three Pygmy options are Homo sapiens (modern human), Homo erectus (Java man which is a large neanderthal-like early human that lived in Asia long before H. sapien arrived), and Homo Habilis (smaller but less advanced in tool use than H. erectus but never thought to have left Africa).

Time will tell but if I’d put my money on a Pygmy H. sapien. Keeping with the theme of Indonesian Pygmies and yesterday’s seahorses, I’ve included one of my pictures of a Pygmy Seahorse from N. Sulawesi. He/she is only about 2cm long (including the tail).