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Hobbit foot, hippo skulls deepen ancestral mystery

Fossil studies add some new twists to debate about a tiny, humanlike species

By
12:57pm, May 6, 2009

Fossil hobbits followed a simple motto: Walk, don’t run. That’s the implication of a new analysis of foot bones from an 18,000-year-old partial skeleton assigned to the controversial species Homo floresiensis, or hobbits.

But the relatively long and unusually primitive left foot of the female skeleton, known as LB1, feeds into growing confusion about the evolutionary origins of hobbits, researchers report in the May 7 Nature. So does another new investigation, of fossil hippo skulls, in the same issue

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