The publication of the research results obtained by Jacob and his colleagues heralds the next round of this big squabble over the little prehistoric man.
The Australian-US team is already at work on its own study, intended to refute Jacob's hypotheses.
The size of an orange, it's much too small to be that of a pygmy.The Journal of Human Evolution has just published a paper by anthropologist Debbie Argue from Canberra, a scientist who has measured the bones of more than 500 women and men, including many African pygmies.When she compared these measurements to those of the midget from Liang Bua, she concluded that LB1's measurements lie far outside the spectrum proper to Homo sapiens, including the pygmies. Jacob and his researchers, on the other hand, are comparing the hobbit's skeleton to the measurements of the dwarf-like men who still live in the woods of Flores today.So the midget must have suffered from microcephaly -- underdevelopment of the skull -- Jacob and his colleagues believe.This medical condition is often associated with deformed limbs and severe physical handicaps.
That, in any case, is how he's described in a study penned by a team of experts associated with Indonesian anthropologist Teuku Jacob, of the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta.