Giant Storks, Hobbits and Global Warming

“It’s been long known that the Earth’s rising surface temperatures portend mass extinction, prolonged droughts, extreme weather, and rising seas. Now we can add a new worry: Humanity could be transformed into a race of hobbits.” CSM

There have been two recent news articles which referenced Hobbits.  As the quote above stated, global warming may contribute to the shrinkage of the human frame over the millennia to come.

The article quoted below in the link asked if giant storks ate human size hobbits in Indonesia.  Both articles are interesting from different perspectives as scientists delve into the future and the past.

It seems that the timing of these articles is interesting since Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY will be hitting theatres this year.  Perhaps, it was on their minds when the articles were being written.

Human interaction with the biosphere over the centuries has produced damage.  This is a historical fact.

As mentioned in previous posts on this blog, biodiversity of this planet traversing the cosmos is showing its fragility. Life is tenacious, but tenacity has its limits.

It is believed that Mars once had a vast biosphere where life thrived.  An unknown catastrophe struck Mars which rendered it an apparent dead planet. This is not a plug for the upcoming Disney’s John Carter film in case you wonder.

For us who are alive in 2012 what happened in the past with giant storks or possible genetic alterations in our descendants may not be on our radar with all the pressing matters which we deal with in the present.  We should be appreciative of those men and women who have devoted themselves to scientific research of the past and our possible future.

In addition we each must do what we can to preserve our environment.  Along the road of life as we encounter fellow travellers let’s join together for the good of the earth and for each other.

Presently we have only one planet.  Let’s do what we can to keep it well.  What we do in our life journey will have an effect on generations to come.  Let’s leave them a rich legacy.


G. D. Williams       © 2012

Could Global Warming Turn Us All Into Hobbits?

These findings, which were published Thursday in the journal Science, are consistent with Bergmann’s rule, an ecological principle, first proposed by German naturalist Christian Bergmann in 1847, that animals of a given species tend to be smaller in hotter climates. Bergmann’s rule holds for about three-quarters of all mammals.

But does that include us? Anthropologists have found that Arctic populations such as the Inuit, Aleut, and Sami peoples, tend, on average, to be heavier than people living closer to the equator. But there are many exceptions to this tendency.

Did Giant Storks Once Dine on Hobbits?

The fossil remains of what may have been a hobbit-like species of human were discovered in 2003 at the Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. In that cave, scientists also unearthed a large number of bird fossils — including 20,000- to 50,000-year-old wing and leg bones from what appears to have been a stork nearly 6 feet tall (1.8 meters).

“From the size of its bones, we initially were expecting a giant raptor, which are commonly found on islands, not a stork,” said Hanneke Meijer, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Liang Bua