Television

NGC's discovery of ancient dwarf human species

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MUMBAI: One of National Geographic Channel's (NGC) major programming initiatives for next year will revolve around dwarfs.

The network will air a special globally early next year that will feature the discovery of a new species of ancient dwarf humans on Flores, East Indonesia

These 18,000-year-old skeletal remains represent an expansion of our understanding related to the origins of modern man. The new species, Homo floresiensis, whose full grown height was approximately that of a modern three-year-old child, is thought to have lived 18,000 years ago and may have survived to more recent times.

The find demonstrates that the range of human diversity in the recent past was much greater than previously believed. The partial skeleton, discovered at a cave site called Liang Bua, belonged to an individual who, while fully adult, was barely a meter tall and had a skull the size of a grapefruit.

Meanwhile in the US NGC is providing the Washington, D.C. bureaus of all major U.S. networks and news services with a 10-minute long Electronic Press Kit (EPK) featuring footage from the as yet untitled special, branded with the network's logo.
The EPK includes footage of the site and fossils, as well as sound bites from scientists.

The new findings have excited researchers with its implications. If unexpected branches of humanity are still being found today, and lived so recently, then who knows what else might be out there? The species' diminutive stature indicates that humans are subject to the same evolutionary forces that made other mammals shrink to dwarf size when in genetic isolation and under ecological pressure, such as on an island with limited resources.

Meanwhile NGC US has announced that the special Inside the US Secret Service which aired on 24 October gave it the highest prime rating in the network's history -- both in households and demographics.

3.7 million Americans watched the special. This more than doubled the broadcaster's previous record number of viewers for the 7 June airing of Return to Titanic.

In Households the secret service special outrated Discovery, Travel Channel, Animal Planet and Fox News Channel among others for the 8-10 pm slot.

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