A New Human Species?
Add "Homo floresiensis" to the list of human species in the ever-widening bush of human evolution. That is the taxonomic name now being suggested by scientists for the famous "hobbit" fossils unearthed last fall in Indonesia. Scientists are now saying that the specimen is indeed a separate human ancestral species, and not a pygmy or individual who suffered from a brain growth disorder. Based on extensive analysis of the skull remains by a team of scientists, new data now supports the theory that the individual (determined to be a female adult about 3 feet tall with a brain case roughly one-third the size of that of modern humans) represents a heretofore unknown human species that may have lived as recently as 18,000 years ago. That places this species rather late on the time scale of human evolution.