Mystery ancient hobbit 'was not human'

A male Homo floresiensis returns from the hunt. Found on the island of Flores in Indonesia, these ancient humans grew no taller than a three-year-old modern-human child. Their small size led scientists to nickname the species "hobbits," after the tiny Lord of the Rings characters.
PHOTO: National Geographic

In 2003 a mysterious tiny species of hominin (early human) was discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. It was given the scientific name Homo floresiensis, but it's better known by its catchy nickname: "the hobbit".

Nothing quite like the hobbit had been observed before in two million years of human evolution. For one, fully grown it was only about 3.5ft (1.1m) tall and would have weighed about 25kg. And, even more unusually, its skull was tiny: the hobbit's brain would have been no larger than a modern chimpanzee's.

The hobbit may have lived on Flores for about 100,000 years. About 15-18,000 years ago it disappeared forever. This makes it the most recent other human species that walked the Earth at the same time as us.

Read the full article here.

SERVICES