Category: Evolution

Paper Pygmalion

March 15, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

There’s something awkwardly cute about the videoclip by The Mills Brothers in which a man sings about his desire to “own a paper doll that he can call his own”. The representation of human desire through an idol, a sculpture, or even a puppet is as old…

Homo Sindhiensis

March 6, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

If anthropology teaches us one thing it is that the human species was, and is, in a continuous state of development. Homo Sapiens, much like Homo Floresiensis, probably will eventually change into a new species, a species better equiped to deal with the challenges of…

GHRHR

February 11, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

It seems as if nature itself is already investigating ways to counter hypergrowth, overpopulation and overconsumption. It’s creating perfectly proportioned, but small, human beings. Pituitary dwarfism, also known as Dwarfism of Sindh, is a form of growth absense where all parts of the body grow equally slow. At…

Small & Smart

January 29, 2011 By arne hendriks 1

There is an understandable fear that if we shrink the human body we might lose part of our brain capacity. With a projected head size of only 6 x 4,5 centimeters tall it’s an obvious concern. One of the possible solutions we’ve reported on in…

Dwarfism of Sindh

January 18, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

Donald Platt points out an interesting case of dwarfism in Pakistan. In 1994, an article appeared in a Pakistan newspaper, describing the existence of a cluster of familial dwarfism in two remote villages in the lower Indus valley.  The subjects were perfectly proportioned and in…

B-Movie Biology

December 29, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

The shrinkfilm archive features many 50’s movies of debatable quality. And there’s a reason: B-movies of the 50’s are a rich source of inspiration for size-related speculation.  The premise of the 50’s B-movie is invariably to take something out of its usual context  -make people…

Missing Molars & Microdontia

November 19, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

In a 2008 discovery of the remains of small humans (130 – 140 cm) on the Micronesian island of Palau it was observed that the teeth seemed unusually large in comparison to the jaw bone. Discoverer Lee Berger speculates that this is the result of…

Micro Liver

November 1, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Researchers at Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine have grown a miniature liver using human cells. It’s only an inch in diameter which is not big enough to work for a regular sized human being but would be more then sufficient if we were…

Preformationism & the Homunculus

October 21, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

In 1694 Nicolaas Hartsoeker, in his Essai de Dioptrique produced an image of a tiny human form curled up inside a sperm cell, He referred to it as petit l’infant, the small infant. This image, depicting what historians now refer to as the homunculus, has become iconic of the…

The Research Puppet

October 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

This is a photo of my mother in the mid 80’s holding a self-marionette, more or less the size of our projected future people. The Incredible Shrinking Man is developing tools to investigate what it would be like to be 50 centimeters. One of these tools…

The Shrinking Iguana

September 20, 2010 By arne hendriks 4

Much to his surprise, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University has found that in times of famine, marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands shrink in length and then regrow when food is plentiful again. “For vertebrates, it’s sort of a dogma that they don’t shrink,”…

The Sugar Climate

August 29, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

We eat 2500% more sugar then we did about a century ago. In his book Pure, White and Deadly John Yudkin associates this increased intake with a number of serious health risks.  He also points out a relationship between the increased sugar consumption and increased height. Yet…

Is Global Warming Shrinking our Brain?

August 28, 2010 By arne hendriks 2

This study by Jessica Ash and Gordon G. Gallup Jr. suggests that human cranial capacity as an indicator of brain size grew dramatically during our evolution, and that variations in global temperature as well as progressive shifts toward global cooling account for as much as…

Court Dwarfs: Curiosity & the Tiny Caretaker.

July 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

Dwarfs, throughout the ages, have aroused curiosity. Some, like the American circus artist General Tom Thumb, even achieved great wealth by cleverly turning smallness into a spectacle. Certainly one of the most remarkable stories in this category is that of the Italian dwarf Sebastiano Biavati.…

Sunlight and Vitamins

July 11, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

Dr. Julian O’Dea proposes an interesting theory as to why ethnic groups living in the rainforest are often very small. Adult Pygmy males, for example, are less then 150cm on average. According to Dr. O’Dea this could be because of the near absense of ultraviolet light in…

Outsourcing Brain Capacity

May 22, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

“But what do we do with the brain?”, was the first question a neighbor asked when he heard of the ambitions of The Incredible Shrinking Man to shrink the human species to 50 centimeters. It’s a good question.  Although not proven beyond a doubt, there…

Insular Gigantism & Dwarfism

May 16, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

On islands, it occurs relatively frequently that large species of animals tend to get smaller and small species tend to get larger. The greater interspecies competition or pressure of carnivores on the continent may actually force them beyond the limits of their optimum size. They…

The Godfather of Shrink Thinking

May 1, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

Thomas T. Samaras could be considered the godfather of shrink thinking. The Incredible Shrinking Man just aquired his 1994 book, The Truth About Your Height. Exploring the Myths and Realities of Human Size and Its Effects on Performance, health, Pollution, and Survival. It states:  “Short…

Micro-livestock

April 8, 2010 By arne hendriks 1

Micro-livestock is a term coined for species that are inherently small, such as rabbits and poultry, as well as for breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs that are less than half the size of the most common breeds. These miniature animals are seldom considered…

The Hobbit of Flores

April 5, 2010 By arne hendriks 3

Homo floresiensis, nicknamed “hobbit”, is an extinct human species discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull. This hominin is remarkable for its small body and brain and for its survival until as…