Hobbit ancestors may have resided in Flores 700,000 years ago

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We may have finally found the ancestors of the mysterious miniature Homo floresiensis, aka the hobbit. A new cache of hobbit-like remains uncovered on the island of Flores answers at least some questions in the decade-long quest to understand the identity and origins of this tiny ancient hominin.

At the site where hobbits were originally found – a rock shelter called Liang Bua – the species lived between 190,000 and 50,000 years ago. Exactly where it came from, though, is a matter of heated debate.

The new remains – six teeth, a fragment of jawbone and a tiny piece of skull – don’t settle the issue, but Yousuke Kaifu at Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science and his colleagues think they back the shrunken H. erectus theory.

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The 700,000-year-old fossils were collected at the Mata Menge site in the So’a Basin on Flores. If the fossils are, in fact, older members of the tiny hobbit lineage, then Flores seems to have been their home for hundreds of thousands of years.

 

Read full, original post: Mystery human hobbits ruled tiny Asian island 700,000 years ago

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