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The extinct human lineage nicknamed “the hobbit” for its miniature body may have vanished soon before or soon after modern humans arrived on the hobbits’ island home, rather than living alongside modern humans for thousands of years as was previously thought, researchers say.
By using new techniques to date hobbit skeletons and the sediment where they were buried, researchers determined that the “hobbit” species, Homo floresiensis, likely vanished earlier than prior estimates had suggested. Even so, the scientists aren’t sure whether modern humans had anything to do with the extinction of the hobbits.
“Homo floresiensis reminds us that human diversity was far greater in the past than it is today,” said study co-lead author Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Ontario. “There were lots of different kinds of hominin species, and some of them shared this planet at the same time as us. But all of these other hominins have gone extinct, and we modern humans are the only ones left. We need to better understand why they went extinct and we survived in order to make better decisions as a species for how we take care of our planet and each other for the future.”
Read full, original post: Did Hobbits Live Alongside Modern Humans?