Indonesian 'hobbit' confirmed to be a new species





Half-size humans whose remains were found on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 have been confirmed to be a new species, and not modern pygmies whose brains had shrivelled with disease.

Since the discovery of Homo floresiensis - dubbed "the hobbit" due to its size - anthropologists have argued over the identity and origins of the cave-dwellers.

Measuring just three feet high and weighing 65 pounds, the tiny, tool-making hunters may have roamed the island as recently as 8,000 years ago.

Only more fossil evidence will tell us whether the hobbits of Flores evolved from Homo erectus, whose traces have been found throughout Eurasia, or from an even more ancient lineage whose footsteps have not yet been traced outside Africa, he said.


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