Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Research conducted at Princeton University studied if there was a possible link of modern pygmy population that lives in an Indonisian island. On this island it was found hobbit remains or scientific name Homo floresiensis fossils. (1)
H. floresiensis  were on average 3.5 feet tall, these short hobbits lived 17,000 years ago. The fossils recovered where not well preserved and scientists found it difficult to extract DNA that was viable for testing. Once DNA was sequenced they wanted to compare that to the modern pygmy population that are on average 15 inches taller then H. floresiensis, the thought that they may have similar ancestry.
They decided to develop a tool that would "help find archaic genetic sequences in modern DNA".(1)
There was this thought that since many humans share DNA from Neanderthals, and even Denisovans that just maybe these modern pygmy people have H. floresiensis DNA.
"But if you want to look for another species, like Floresiensis, we have nothing to compare, so we had to develop another method: We 'paint' chunks of the genome based on the source. We scan the genome and look for chunks that come from different species -- Neanderthal, Denisovans, or something unknown." said Serena Tucci (1)
After looking through 32 modern pygmies Tuci states " they definitely have a lot of Neanderthal, and a bit of Denisovan. We expected that, because we knew there was some migration that went from Oceania to Flores, so there was some shared ancestry of these populations."
No Homo floresiensis  was found in these people suggesting the modern pygmy population evolved independently.
"Islands are very special places for evolution, this process, insular dwarfism, resulted in smaller mammals, like hippopotamus, and elephants, and smaller humans. This is really intriguing, because it means that evolutionary, we are not that special," Tucci said. "humans are like other mammals, we are subject to the same processes."
This I believe is an important step to helping know our place in the world. We are subjected to environmental changes like any other species and adapt to survive.


1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting article because it focuses a lot on evolution which I think is a cool topic in general. I also think its cool that they talk about the islands being a very special place for evolution because I never really thought about islands focusing on evolution. but it really is just a small secluded place where animals are forced to adapt to survive because they don't really have anywhere else to go.