Renegade scientist man stole the bones of everyone's favorite recently discovered mythical creature, H. floresiensis, and then messed them all up:
Aside from four leg bones that remain in Jacob's custody, the fossils were returned on Feb. 23. The team charges the remains were severely damaged by rubber molds made at Jacob's lab:
• Much of the detail at the base of the skull was pulled off.
• The left outer eye socket and two teeth were broken off and glued back. Bits of molded rubber still adhere to some sections.
• Long, deep cuts mark the lower edge of the hobbit's jaw on both sides, left by a blade used to cut away molded rubber.
• The chin of a second hobbit jaw was snapped off, losing bone. It was glued back together misaligned and at an incorrect angle.
• The pelvis was smashed, perhaps in transit, destroying details that reveal body shape, gait and evolutionary history.
"We have a big dispute with Professor Jacob," says Tony Djubiantono, chief of the archaeology center and co-leader of the team. "We didn't give him permission to do any of these things."
The return of the bones to the Jakarta center is cloaked in mystery, says discovery team member Richard Roberts of Australia's University of Wollongong. The team believes the government intervened. Paleoanthropologist Harry Widianto of the Yogyakarta Archaeology Agency was sent to get the bones.
Indexed by tags ebu gogo, H. floresiensis, hobbit, science, archaeology.