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Una antropóloga forense reconstruye el verdadero rostro de un “hobbit” humano

11 diciembre 2012 - 16:19 - Autor:

Este bien podría ser un caso que hiciera saltar de alegría a la Dra. Brennan, (alias “Huesos”) de la serie “Bones“, pero esta vez la actriz Emily Deschanel deberá dejar su bata a una verdadera experta en la materia, una antropóloga forense australiana que ha utilizado técnicas de reconstrucción facial para mostrar, por primera vez, cómo podría habernos mirado el misterioso “Hombre de Flores”, apodado el ‘hobbit’ por su estatura.

El Homo floresiensis, que no superaba el metro de altura y cuyo cerebro tenía el tamaño de un puño, vivió hace 18.000 años en la isla indonesia del mismo nombre. Y tras ser descubierto en 2003, y bautizado en honor a la obra de Tolkien, dejó tras de sí una de las mayores incognitas de nuestra especie humana: ¿era una nueva especie de homínido o era un homínido conocido pero afectado por microcefalia y enanismo?

Desde que sacaron sus huesos, el “hobbit” ha sido el patito feo de la Paleontología, un individuo al que además de no ponerle origen, tampoco le ponían cara. Así que lo mejor para contestar a las muchas pregunta es hacernos una idea de sus facciones, gracias al uso de técnicas que se aplican para ayudar a la policía a resolver crímenes. De hecho, su extinción es una auténtico crimen, por mucho que fuera un volcán el causante de su desaparición, según afirman muchos expertos.

Así que la antropóloga especialista facial Dr. Susan Hayes, de la Universidad de Wollongong, ha reconstruido el músculo y la grasa del rostro en torno al cráneo del “Hombre de Flores”, para dar cuerpo a lo que sería su cara real. Y los resultados muestran un rostro sorprendentemente familiar, con pómulos elevados, orejas largas y una nariz ancha y chata.

La experta forense afirma que está muy contenta con la metodología usada y con los sorprendentes resultados, que otros expertos en evolución humana definen en phys.org como “de aspecto muy moderno”. La reconstrucción facial se ha realizado sobre la base de los restos óseos femeninos que fueron descubiertos en la cueva de Liang Bua, en la remota isla indonesia de Flores en 2003.

Es interesante ver este nuevo enfoque basado en la ciencia forense y que en realidad puede ayudar en el conocimiento del aspecto del “Hombre de Flores”. Lo que hemos visto hasta ahora han sido las interpretaciones artísticas, algunas muy bellas; pero esta técnica realmente lleva el reconocimiento facial a un nuevo nivel, dándonos una visión más científica y precisa de cómo era el Homo floresiensis.

Y gracias a esta novedosa reconstrucción, se constata lo que la mayoría de los investigadores aceptaban: que el “hobbit” era una especie humana única y no un ser humano enfermo. Ahora sólo hay que descubrir en qué rama del árbol evolutivo descansaba.

La Dr. Susan Hayes haciendo de “Huesos”

Vía Phys.org

 

Y otros temitas miniaturizados para ti:

- ¿Sueñan las personas con enanos proféticos?

- El hombre después del hombre: un retrato del “ser humano” dentro de 5 millones de años

- Las columnas más complejas del mundo

- Auge y caída del Rock psicodélico camboyano

- Una forma única de vender abrigos en Copenhague

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