Animal migration in South East Asia: Implications for the Hobbits and us
Thursday, 25 October 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM (AEDT)
About the talk:
All islands are difficult colonisation prospects for land animals, but some are much more difficult than others.
This lecture concerns the dispersal of Asian land animals on the islands between mainland Southeast Asia and Papua/Australia, and the implications for hominins at different evolutionary and cultural stages.
About the speaker:
Professor Mike Morwood from the University of Wollongong has undertaken many research projects over his career however the most spectacular (and at times most controversial) of the finds so far has been the LB1 skeleton (dubbed "The Hobbit"), which is the type specimen for an endemic hominin species Homo floresiensis. This species had a range of very primitive traits, but existed on Flores until a mere 17,000 years ago. It has prompted reassessment of fundamental tenets in palaeoanthropology – for instance, concerning the peripheral role of Asia in early hominin evolution, the nature of genus Homo; and the relationships between brain size and intelligence. As a result, there has been intense public interest in LB1 – as evident in popular books, refereed journals, magazines, radio and television programs, documentary films, internet websites, museum displays and public lectures.