The Mystery of Paleontology’s “Hobbit”

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2011/12/06/A_Debate_Who_Was_the_Hobbit

Ian Tattersall, paleoanthropologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History, describes the discovery of fossil LB1 (nicknamed the “hobbit”), and the mystery surrounding the nearly complete skeleton.


Leakey Lecture – A Debate: Who was the Hobbit?

Dr. Robert Martin
Field Museum of Natural History

Dr. Ian Tattersall
American Museum of Natural History

Found on an obscure island, the tiny, small-brained, big-footed, “Homo florensiencsis,” or “the hobbit,” is unlike any other discovery. Where did this being come from, and who are its ancestors? In this light-hearted debate, two eminent biological anthropologists, attempt to lift a corner of the veil obscuring one of paleoanthropology’s most intriguing mysteries. This program is jointly sponsored by the Leakey Foundation and the California Academy of Sciences.

Ian Tattersall is currently Curator in the Department of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Born in England and raised in East Africa, he has carried out fieldwork in countries as diverse as Madagascar, Vietnam, Surinam, Yemen, and Mauritius.

Trained in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge, and in geology and vertebrate paleontology at Yale, Tattersall has concentrated his research over the past quarter-century in two main areas, in both of which he is an acknowledged leader: the analysis of the human fossil record, and the study of the ecology and systematics of the lemurs of Madagascar.



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