By David Coppedge

More miniature human skeletons have been discovered in Micronesia. Found at Palau and reported in PLoS One,1 these are unquestionably modern human, but small in stature — less than four feet tall. They are also recent. Radiocarbon dates on the bones yielded dates between 1400 and 3000 years old.

The discovery is casting doubt on the primitive designation for the famous “hobbit” fossils (dubbed Homo floresiensis found on the island of Flores in 2004 that caused a big stir. The Palau skeletons have human proportions and share features with the Flores skeletons, but have larger brains. The discoverers, who call the specimens Homo sapiens, think the individuals were products of dwarfism — a population that becomes diminished in size, as occurs with some species on islands with restricted resources, and sometimes (as with pygmies in Africa) on mainland continents….

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