‘Hobbit’ may have a place in humans’ family tree: study

‘Hobbit’ may have a place in humans’ family tree: study

Short statured Homo floresiensis, which is better known by the nickname of "hobbit", had branched out from a common ancestor of modern humans earlier than previously thought, a new study suggested.

In 2003, a group of archaeologists from Australia and Indonesia discovered the remains of a new species of human from a cave on the island of Flores. The species was just 3.5 ft in height, and it quickly earned the nickname hobbit.

Ever since then researchers have been debating where it fits on the evolutionary tree of humans. The new study suggested that Homo floresiensis had a link with the earlier human species, Homo habilis.

Dr. Debbie Argue, lead author of the new study, said, “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.”

Mike Lee, who co-authored the study, added that the researchers are 99 per cent sure that hobbit was not related to Homo erectus and 100 per cent sure that it was not a malformed Homo sapiens.

The study appeared in the most recent edition of the Journal of Human Evolution.



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