National Geographic : 2005 Apr
FLORES AND DMANISI FINDS BI Sek t~a rlitonels -MALTA in EuropeM, i.5 . yit.a Two species separated by 1.8 millionyears and 6 000 mil. Ar they distant cousins? A .FRI A In analyzing the bones of a tiny huran relative called Hobbit, from the Indonesian island of Flres, Lucy (Aus afarensis) scientist Peter Brown noted tht they looked more like Homo erectus remainsrec y found atma- M Olds erstm an IOP nisi in western Asia than like Homo erectus from 195,000 yrs N\op ofora nearby Indonesian islands. "That's very weird," he Turkay, .5 y. a.) says. Much research must be done to determine if the two species are linked. Ol For now, the finds are I. 1.m.y. adding to the picture of TANZA A early human diasporas. Dmanisi shows that nl ; human ancestors left Africa earlier than ... was thought and that these wanderers had adopted a carnivore's protein-laden diet. Meat-eating may Oy have been key to survival outside Africa, and it may have set human ancestors on an evolutionary course to larger brains, typical of predators. Mean while, Flores suggests hominins crossed stretches of ocean much earlier than scientists believed, leading scholars to wonder about other unknown human species. "Homo erectus may have reached many Indonesian islands and evolved," says Richard Roberts of Australia's University of Wollongong. "We may be in for more surprises." Dmanisi Homo erectus Visit a gallery of 3-D skulls from early humans to explore how the Specimen D3444 Flores hominin, the "old man" from Dmanisi, Lucy, and other well- 1.77 million years old known specimens differ at nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0504. 2 million years ago 1.5 m.y.a.