Blog 6 – Becoming Modern

Just thinking about H. floresiensis, makes me think of the short amount of time in which this species was in existence, 100,000yra to 70,000yra. H. floresiensis, survives the Neanderthal era, only to succumb to volcanic eruption(s) or “the bloody hands of modern humans” (Morwood). The similarity of the H. floresiensis to ancient African apelike human ancestors, appearing over 2 million years ago, is very intriguing. That’s like saying, “Lois, we just found the bones of your great, great, great, great-grandmother, under a tree in Africa, only she’s a little shorter than you.” Of course, I would be in denial or awestruck.

My biggest difficulty, with this lecture, is keeping each species in order, to keep a clear picture of progression. Although, it is all very interesting. Thinking about how fast we presently progress in production and technology, and it is very believable, that the H. floresiensis could reach Flores and have developed with the well preserved tools. If the Bering land bridge allowed others to reach the Americas, why not, also allow tectonic shifts to allow these small beings abroad. Their size is another, interesting characteristic. Since I am not a scientist, I would chalk H. floresiensis’ size up to gene mutation, such as, with the tallest man or smallest woman, in the Guinness World Records. I had an older cousin, who was 6’6” (and also a Harlem Globetrotter). His mother was short 5’5” or so and his father 5’10”. In my family we have very short, 4’2” (from Puerto Rico), to very tall, 6’6’’ (from U.S.A.). It seems if the gene markers are strong enough maternally or paternally, maybe a generation or two can maintain the carrier gene for “shortness”. The world’s tallest and shortest man, are from two different countries, (http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/535098/Guinness-World-Record-s-TALLEST-man-and-SHORTEST-man-meet-for-first-time ). And there is the family on Martha’s Vineyard, (https://icyseas.org/2014/01/12/marthas-vineyard-deaf-people-and-a-shared-sign-language/), with the recessive gene for deafness. The isolation on the island, continued the ‘expression’ for deafness. Could this be the case for H. floresiensis? Could their own interbreeding have caused an expressive ‘short’ gene?

I am still amazed at the formation of tool usage and how some tools were made to create other tools. For instance, the basic chopping Olduwan tools. Simple, yet genius. For the H. floresiensis, cutting through the reptile hide of a Komodo dragon or pony-size elephant, must have been a family affair. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest species of lizards, length of 7’ to 10’ and weighing in at 150lbs! Picture the average queen size bed’s length is 6 feet. How did the H. floresiensis adapt to living among these beast?

Their ancient origins, along the lineage of H. habilis, keep theorists scratching their heads. Just like present day humans could not have survived with prehistoric dinosaurs, H. floresiensis probably could not have survived with modern day humans. Yet, their fossils allow scientists to record history with an array of changes that we never had discovered.

I personally, think the earth will keep yielding up clues to the past. What once, was written in stone, will actually be seen in the deep waters, under the melting ice, and deeper into the earth’s crust.

One thought on “Blog 6 – Becoming Modern

  1. Dear Lois, I found your blog post to be incredibly interesting. I focused on Neanderthals in mine so I didn’t dwell to much in thinking about the significance of H. Floresiensis in the evolution of the anatomically modern human much beyond the information that we learned in the lectures this week. However, I agree with your theory that the shortness of the H. Floresiensis is most likely a result of genetic mutation coupled with the isolation of the population, allowing for a much higher observable rate of the founders affect. I also liked that you considered how their size would have effected their ability to survive in their environment, especially with the types of creatures, specifically the massive lizards. That is a very interesting question that I would never have thought to ask.

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