Millennium Post

Origins of Indonesian 'hobbits' revealed

Origins of Indonesian hobbits revealed
Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on an Indonesian island in 2003, most likely evolved in Africa and not from a modern human ancestor as has been widely believed, a new study has found.

The study by The Australian National University (ANU) found Homo floresiensis, dubbed "the hobbits" due to their small stature, were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis - one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago. Data from the study concluded there was no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.

The results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered, said study leader Debbie Argue of the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology. "The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. It means these two shared a common ancestor," Argue said.


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