Flores Man

Homo floresiensis (“Flores Man”), nicknamed “hobbits”, are a possible species of extinct human discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. The first set of remains to have been found is a fairly complete skeleton, including a nearly complete cranium (skull), determined to be a 30-year-old female.

Disclaimer: The premise of the first verse is science fiction. After the first verse the content of this poem is factual and based on genuine science.

When my bones were on a loan
secret labs had made a clone.
Then they taught me all they knew
about us creatures old – yet new
how on FLORES we did flourish,
hunts and gathers would us nourish.

Komodo Dragon’s larger breed
would stalk our young and tried to feed.
But hunters in our group would charge
and slay the dragon – mean and large.
We’d build a fire, roast the beast,
and invite others to the feast.

Shetland Islands’ tiny horses
shrunk so small by nature’s forces.
With nothing big to eat them there
economic stud and mare
had smaller babies every year
with little grass, and none to fear
Small was good, and smaller better…
As weather’s bad – they grew a sweater.
Tiny ponies everywhere
made Shetland Islands pretty rare.

Galapagos tortoises outgrew common norms.
Every island in the chain has giant, unique forms.
So on FLORES island too, sizes went both ways,
HOMINIDS with tiny brains – yet clever where it pays.
While rats and lizards gained in weight
elephants had different fate.
They shrunk like tiny leprechauns-
those straight tusked little STEGODONS.
Island creatures often seem
to push their sizes to extreme.

We were only three feet tall
and our brains were very small –
smaller than a chimpanzee’s,
yet, solved problems with great ease!
We pondered hunting strategies,
built bamboo rafts for open seas.
Like Cro Magnons – made fine tools,
so, please don’t take us for some fools.

Neanderthals had bigger brains than any of you do
in terms of cubic centimeters – fourteen-twenty-two
“Moderns” have thirteen-sixty, Erectus nine-eight-“O”.
Never mind the size of brains, smaller won’t mean slow!
Computer of quite recent past was a dunce moved by a crane,
while its common descendant’s a compact clever brain!
Fifty-five pound body weight needs precious little mind.
All that you held dear and true – was crashed by Flores find!!

Ask – How long we’re on the scene?
Like Australo – pithecine??
Experts think we’re small ERECTUS.
How to self will you connect us?
Ever since the cave-floor find
we have twofold humankind.
Our self-image we’ll unmask…
as we question – as we ask.

Dutch East Indies natives – reported “HOBBIT” creatures,
called them Pendek, Letjo, Kubu, Gogu – with ape features.
The Dutch and other Europeans laughed at it as fiction.
Few if any scientists reported such depiction.
With civil wars and tsunamis – work is not much fun.
Time is precious, funds are few, little work gets done.
So help the Ausies in their plight – to conserve, and save
most precious find of human kind at LIANG BUA CAVE. =-)

by Poets wannabe Flora & Petr