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Stegodon Florensis Insularis

Ah, the flores stegodon. How confusing those paleontologists have been.
In the first national geographic article, the dwarf stegodon described as being contemporaneous with H floresiensis was stegodon sondaari. The problem was that this water-buffalo sized stegodon went extinct some 900,000 odd years ago. It was replaced by s. Florensis, a "medium to large" sized proboscidean - a size, I assume, to be close to that of your average asian elephant. Hundreds of thousands of years on Flores, however, did dwarf the stegodons, and the proboscidean that did live alongside h. Floresiensis was s. Florensis Insularis, a stegodon which, according to the one paper I could only read the abstract of, was 30% smaller then the ancestral s florensis, based off of the size of the juvenile molars found in the same layer as H floresiensis.

With all this shit in mind, this is my new dwarf stegodon - which, visually, I think is more dramatic a juxtaposition to have with h floresiensis. What do you think?

Do any of you guys have any access to these articles, actually? I'd love to have the science good and solid...
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TheWatcherofWorlds's avatar
Is it ok for me to use this as inspiration for a school project?
povorot's avatar
Go for it! But send me what you end up doing, if possible
Homero13's avatar
you konow what is the shoulder height of Stegodon sondaari?
WSnyder's avatar
Did you extrapolate from "normal"-sized Stegodon for this drawing or did you have a reference of a dwarf stegodont that you used for this? I am curious because I was searching for images of dwarf stegodont skeletals, but the search was largely fruitless. I want to do my own rendition of one of the two dwarf species, so any help would be great. Of course, if you know of none then that is perfectly fine.
povorot's avatar
I don't know of any skeletals, i'm afraid - i basically just did a lot of inference based off of the limited evidence i could find. If you find something, though, please share!
WSnyder's avatar
Alright. Thanks!
Paraceratherium's avatar
No archeological evidence yet that Homo floriensis hunted dwarf Stegodon. Komodo dragons were theorized to prey on dwarf probiscideans before the arrival of deer and water buffalo. Varanus would make short work of H floriensis.
CheeseburgerTom's avatar
Komodo dragons are ambush predators. For a larger animal like the dwarf stegodons, it has been theorized that they would bite and release waiting for the animal to drop in a few days or weeks due to the massive and largely unshakable infections associated with their bites.  In general theories of hunting for modern humans and Neanderthals do not suggest a large use of ambush style hunting.

In addition a small group of spear wielding hominids acting in concert is more than a match for any land based predator in most circumstances.  Modern humans were able to wipe out much larger monitor lizard species in Australia with little more than spears and fire, I see no reason to think a similar tool using hominid couldn't hold its own against Komodo dragons.
TheWatcherofWorlds's avatar
Ah, its a venom bite that causes the wound to not heal or stop bleeding...
Hello My name is Bruno and Live in Brazil. I like yours photos. I have a blog about animals. I can use them in my blog? I promise give the credits, my blog is non-proft.

I'm an Archaeologist and have taught Physical/Bio Anthropology as well. Your concern for drawing on actual fossil evidence is MOST impressive and I applaud you for it.
HomieBear's avatar
I think it will be a while before they untangle the Flores paleontology!
povorot's avatar
Oh yeah. Decades, probably - this stuff usually takes ages to get unraveled.
commander-salamander's avatar
Sorry I can't be any help science wise but nice illustration! I have always liked mini elephants. My only concern is that the shoulder looks flat or something. I love the little size comparison diagram.
avancna's avatar
Well, it sounds like what happened was that S. sondaari went extinct, and S. florensis emigrated from the mainland, and took over the now-vacant elephant niche, and, developed into a dwarf form, S. florensis insularis.

A typical case of "Elvis Taxon Syndrome" (i.e., where an earlier form goes extinct, and is replaced by a different and unrelated, but almost identical form)
povorot's avatar
Yeah, totally - the thing that really gets me, though, is that even national geographic didn't bother to get their science right, y'know? They should have been up-front about the stegodons that were actually contemporary with H Floresiensis, instead of just trying to plug the marketable finds. It's hard enough for non-professionals to find out about this stuff without the professionals actively misleading you.
avancna's avatar
Don't be too harsh on National Geographic. Granted, they have a lot to do for paleontology, but, their biggest money-getters are the dispossessed orphans of the world.
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