An interdisciplinary team of scientists was able to recreate the external appearance of one of the extinct human relatives, a member of the species Homo floresiensis. These hominids, nicknamed “hobbits” because of their short stature, were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. As a result of research, it was found that “hobbits” are an evolutionary offshoot of Homo erectus, the ancestor of modern humans.
The “hobbit” remains possessed a number of unusual features, such as a small head and short stature (only 106 centimeters). Scientists suggest that these people lived for a long time in the isolated ecosystem of Flores Island, which may have affected their physical characteristics.
In the new study, scientists were able to recreate the appearance of the “hobbit” using a digital scanning mechanism. The work was difficult because of the uniqueness of the structure of “hobbits”, but the scientists were able to compare the computer tomography images of the “hobbit” skull with images of skulls of Homo sapiens and chimpanzees. According to the results of the study, two versions of the reconstruction of the “hobbit” face were created: a neutral black and white image and a stylized version with additional vegetation on the face.
Experts note that Homo floresiensis probably had a less protruding nose, a large mouth and a much smaller brain compared with modern humans. However, scientists emphasize that “hobbits” cannot be considered members of the same group as Homo sapiens.
The study of the external appearance of “hobbits” allows a better understanding of the evolution of mankind and its related species. These findings confirm that throughout human history, there have been various evolutionary lines that have led to a variety of human species and forms.