Researchers who studied the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, say their findings should end a popular theory that it evolved from an ancestor of modern humans.
The study…found there was no evidence the diminutive 1.1-meter-tall Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region.
[According to Prof. Colin Groves, the researchers’] findings support another popular theory: that Homo floresiensis was in fact far more primitive than Homo erectus and had characteristics more similar to Homo habilis, which lived between 1.65m and 2.4m years ago, and which is the most ancient representative of the human genus.
The findings add support to the theory that the species evolved from one in Africa, most likely Homo habilis, and that the two species shared a common ancestor. It was possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa and then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere, the researchers concluded.
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