Ancient Hobbits

It remains one of the greatest human fossil discoveries of all time. The bones of a race of tiny primitive people, who used stone tools to hunt pony-sized elephants and battle huge Komodo dragons, were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004. …

According to a growing number of scientists, Homo floresiensis is probably a direct descendant of some of the first apemen to evolve on the African savannah three million years ago. …  It sounds improbable but the basic physical similarity between the two species is striking. … Analysis of Lucy’s skeleton shows it has great similarities with the bones of H. floresiensis, although her species died out millions of years ago while the hobbits hung on in Flores until about 17,000 years ago. …

The crucial point about this interpretation is that it explains why the Flores people had such minuscule proportions. … In research that provides further support for this idea, scientists have recently dated some stone tools on Flores as being around 1.1 million years old, far older than had been previously supposed. … He has now uncovered stone tools on nearby Sulawesi. These could be almost two million years old.

More here.  HT Tyler.

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