Small-bodied humans from Palau, Micronesia.

Published

Journal Article

UNLABELLED: Newly discovered fossil assemblages of small bodied Homo sapiens from Palau, Micronesia possess characters thought to be taxonomically primitive for the genus Homo. BACKGROUND: Recent surface collection and test excavation in limestone caves in the rock islands of Palau, Micronesia, has produced a sizeable sample of human skeletal remains dating roughly between 940-2890 cal ybp. PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: Preliminary analysis indicates that this material is important for two reasons. First, individuals from the older time horizons are small in body size even relative to "pygmoid" populations from Southeast Asia and Indonesia, and thus may represent a marked case of human insular dwarfism. Second, while possessing a number of derived features that align them with Homo sapiens, the human remains from Palau also exhibit several skeletal traits that are considered to be primitive for the genus Homo. SIGNIFICANCE: These features may be previously unrecognized developmental correlates of small body size and, if so, they may have important implications for interpreting the taxonomic affinities of fossil specimens of Homo.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Berger, LR; Churchill, SE; De Klerk, B; Quinn, RL

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 3

Start / End Page

  • e1780 -

PubMed ID

  • 18347737

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18347737

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0001780

Language

  • eng