Were 'Hobbit Humans' Eaten by Giant Storks?
Bones of tiny people found in gathering spot of 6-foot birds
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2010 2:19 AM CST
Remains of hobbit-sized humans were discovered with giant bird bones on an Indonesian island.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Steffen Schmidt)

(Newser) – The remains of hobbit-sized humans in a gathering area of extinct giant storks is leading scientists to conclude that man may have once been bird food. The carnivorous 6-foot-tall Leptoptilos robustus stork, among the largest bird to ever walk the earth, was likely a "ground-bound hunter, as its bones were thick," says Smithsonian researcher Hanneke Meijer. The predator could have fed on fishes, lizards and birds, "and possibly even small, juvenile hobbits," she adds. "These birds are opportunistic carnivores—if you give them plenty of prey items, they'll hunt all of them."

Remains of the tiny humans were found among bird fossils in the Linag Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. It doesn't appear that the humans hunted the birds because no cut marks were found on any stork bones. Flores was home to a wide variety of dwarf and giant species, including the pygmy elephant and the giant lizard, the Komodo dragon. Many of the prehistoric animal became extinct some 17,000 years ago. Meijer is aware that the island evokes images of a kind of land of the lost. "Stories like the Lord of the Rings do add a nice fantasy touch to my work," she said.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
JoeQ
Dec 9, 2010 11:49 AM CST
It must have been weird being a hobbit: "Mommy, where do babies go to?" "The stork takes them."
RockyPneumonia
Dec 9, 2010 4:17 AM CST
Hmmm. Did I lose track of time? Is it April 1 already?
finkster
Dec 9, 2010 4:09 AM CST
Those birds were the horses of the Black Raiders who searched for the ring for their master Sauron. They would feed the birds hobbits every now and then.