I’ve been catching up on my online reading, and a couple days ago John Hawks offered this tantalizing hint that Homo floresiensis a k a the Hobbit may be a pathological specimen. Such claims have been made before based on the small skull of the hominid, but they’ve been pretty powerfully rebutted. But Hawks is claiming that the rest of the skeleton is sickly. He seems to be basing this contention on having seen the bones, and on research by others that will be coming out soon. Now, normally I wouldn’t put much stock in this sort of off-hand remark, but Hawks has been so good on his blog that I have to say I’m intrigued. Adding to my interest is the fact that he now retracts his suggestion that the Hobbit represented a very early migration out of Africa by australopithecines.