"Hobbit" Joins Human Family

Society | October 29, 2004, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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"Hobbit" Joins Human Family A new and tiny species of human that lived in Indonesia at the same time our own ancestors were colonising the world were discovered by scientists. The one-metre- tall species was called "the Hobbit". Photo by BBC

A new and tiny species of human that lived in Indonesia at the time when our own ancestors were colonising the world were discovered by scientists.

The one-metre-tall species - dubbed "the Hobbit" (Homo floresiensis) - lived on the Flores Island until at least 12,000 years ago. Australian archaeologists unearthed the bones while digging at a site called Liang Bua, one of numerous limestone caves on the Island.

The remains of the partial skeleton were found at a depth of 5.9 m. At first, the researchers thought it was the body of a child. But further investigation revealed otherwise. Wear on the teeth and growth lines on the skull confirm it was an adult.

Features of the pelvis identify it as a female and a leg bone confirms that it walked upright, like we do. The 18,000-year-old specimen, known as Liang Bua 1 or LB1, has been assigned to the new human species. It had long arms and a skull of the size of a large grapefruit.
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