Back in 2004, there was a pretty popular story floating around the nerd world about the finding of a hobbit-like species on the Indonesian island of Flores. But since then our intrigue dwindled with the year and I think we all sort of collectively forgot.
Astoundingly, the same team that made the first discovery has spent all these years keeping at it and after well over a decade of digging they have finally struck evolutionary gold once again with the unearthing of what scientist’s are speculating is and even smaller ancestor to the Homo floresiensis.
Discovered a mere 74 kilometers (about 45 miles) from the original “hobbit” remains found in Flores in 2003, this find is remarkable because the evidence is suggesting that this species was able to adapt and survive on the Island of Flores for more than 650,000 years, growing smaller through the proven phenomenon of Island (or Insular) Dwarfism.
This find has also added to the validity of the team’s original hypothesis that the species was not the product of mutation but rather a completely separated, though related cousin of our own ancestor the homo erectus.
Only further digging and research will tell for sure but these findings are fascinating and will certainly shed additional light and understanding to the sometimes confusing evolutionary origins of humans and our distant cousins like the Homo floresiensis.
What do you think? Do you think scientist’s will find more evidence of a long standing species of “hobbits” on the Island of Flores?
Also, if you’re into science and the marvels of humanity, check out how lasers could combat global warming!