Evolutionary Shrinkage: Stone Age Homo find offers small surprise | Science News

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Evolutionary Shrinkage: Stone Age Homo find offers small surprise

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1:31pm, October 27, 2004

Big evolutionary insights sometimes come in little packages. Witness the startling discovery, in a cave on the eastern Indonesian island of Flores, of the partial skeleton of a half-size Homo species that lived there at the same time that ancient Homo sapiens inhabited nearby regions.

The new species, dubbed Homo floresiensis, reached the island at least 38,000 years ago and lived there until it died out near the end of the Stone Age, roughly 20,000 years later, conclude the authors of two papers in the Oct. 28 Nature. The researchers say that the Flores find represents an adult, probably a female, who stood about 3 feet, 3 inches tall (1 meter) and weighed approximately 35 pounds (16

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