Homo floresiensis didn’t come from H. erectus – #365papers – 2017 – 118

#365papers for April 28, 2017

Argue, Groves, Lee, and Jungers, 2017, The affinities of Homo floresiensis based on phylogenetic analyses of cranial, dental, and postcranial characters: Journal of Human Evolution, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.02.006.

What’s it about?

Homo floresiensis is a species of the genus Homo that was discovered and descibed over 10 years ago. It is a species of small stature from the island of Flores. Many have argued about its placement with other members of the genus Homo and why it might have been so small.

The authors here show that H. floresiensis is at best a sister to H. habilis and may represent an even more ancient lineage of the genus. It probably represents an early migration of homonins out of Africa.

Why does it matter?

It seems a minor point, but knowing the exact relationship of this one species within the lineage that led to us as Homo sapiens will help us better understand our origins and the driving forces in our own evolution.

Why did I read this?

I read this for pure curiosity. I remember when H. floresiensis was originally described and the controversy around it. It’s an interesting story.

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