My, what small teeth you have! All the better to ... eat giant rats?
April 10, 2019 6:54 PM   Subscribe

A new species of ancient human, thought to have been under 4ft tall and adapted to climbing trees, has been discovered in the Philippines, providing another twist in the story of human evolution (Wikipedia). The diminutive Homo luzonensis fossils were found in a Luzon island cave, dating back up to 67,00 years (The Guardian). This newly discovered species is possibly related to the previously discovered "hobbit," Homo floresiensis ( (previously on MetaFilter), slayer of giant rats (NatGeo). The two species share a mix of modern and older traits (Ars Technica).

Homo luzonensis’ teeth look like those of more recent members of our genus, Homo, but the hand and foot bones look more like they could have belonged to an Australopithecine—an early human relative that evolved around 3 million years ago and spent as much time in the trees as on the ground, a group that includes the famous skeleton named Lucy (Ars Technica).

Link to the (paywalled) paper on Nature, and a descriptive article with a short, informative video (YouTube, 4:32).
posted by filthy light thief (6 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
More cousins! I am verklempt!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:00 PM on April 10, 2019 [15 favorites]

Second breakfast is my birthright
posted by Going To Maine at 10:49 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

“Oooooooowwwwww! Bud-dy! ”
posted by Fizz at 5:40 AM on April 11, 2019

In a related link about the world's oldest drawing discovered: “Art is a very hard thing to define. Look at some of Picasso’s abstracts. Is that art? Who’s going to tell you it’s art or not?”

That sort of line is so frustrating. Picasso is so entrenched in the art world, we are several eras past the controversies of Picasso. That line would have looked kind of ignorant before the end of the 1950s... it really has no place coming out of anyone's mouth in 2019, let alone a well educated one. If I were attempting to describe art to an alien, Picasso would be one of the go-to artists.

Anyway, love seeing ancestors at work and always welcome new links to the family. Would love to chow down on some prehistoric rats with these little folks.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:50 AM on April 11, 2019

The comic book artist Kim Deitch has a occasionally recurring character named Wagandi, who's some kind of dwarf Pacific Islander - it's not specific. Most of his comics are wildly fantastical but inventively intertwined with popular culture and natural history, so it's funny to see that these discoveries have been proceeded in fiction. I think Shadowland is her first appearance (NSFW).
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:21 AM on April 11, 2019

Mainspring of Menehune myth, maybe?
posted by supercoiled at 12:36 AM on April 12, 2019

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