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More Real-Life Hobbits Found on Indonesian Island

And they were even older and smaller than we thought

(Newser) - We know hobbits existed . And we know humans may have killed them off . But new fossils discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2014—and announced Wednesday via two papers in Nature—show they were older and smaller than previously believed. Gizmodo reports the remains of the first hobbits—... More »

Study: Humans May Have Killed Off Real-Life Hobbits

Homo floresiensis disappeared thousands of years earlier than believed

(Newser) - New research suggests it's possible ancient humans are responsible for killing off Indonesia's hobbits (an urge no doubt felt by modern humans who sat through the extended edition of The Hobbit). Starting in 2003 when their remains were first discovered on the island of Flores, scientists believed Homo ... More »

'Hobbit' Found Decade Ago Not New Species

The skull appears to belong to an individual with Down Syndrome

(Newser) - When a skull and several bone fragments were discovered in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004, one scientist called it "the most important find in human evolution for 100 years." The discoverers hailed it as a previously unknown and extinct human species, which they... More »

Study: Hobbits Weren't Humans

Evidence rejects theory on Homo floresiensis

(Newser) - In 2003, researchers discovered fossils on an Indonesian island that looked a lot like little humans —earning them the nickname "hobbits." But the classification of the three-foot-tall Homo floresiensis has sparked debate among experts: Were they really a distinct species, or perhaps just modern-day humans with a... More »

Angry Experts: Don't Call Hobbits Tea Partiers

John McCain's insults irritate Tolkien scholars

(Newser) - Not so fast, John McCain. Insults linking the Tea Party to hobbits are making some Middle-earth experts as irritable as Saruman. McCain might have derided unrealistic demands by "Tea Party hobbits" during the debt-ceiling debate , but he was exposing his lack of knowledge about the height-challenged creatures, they say.... More »

Were 'Hobbit Humans' Eaten by Giant Storks?

Bones of tiny people found in gathering spot of 6-foot birds

(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... More »

Island 'Hobbits' Separate Human Species

Separate species may have evolved from homo erectus

(Newser) - Two new reports forward the theory that the tiny people who roamed an Indonesian island 8,000 years ago were a separate species of human, the BBC reports, not just pygmy versions of homo sapiens. The biggest clue is the feet of the “hobbits,” which are distinctly primitive... More »

'Hobbit' Fossils Mesmerize Scientists

Number of supporters grow for 'distinct' hominid species theory

(Newser) - Six years after their discovery on an Indonesian island, fossils of 3-foot-tall people creatures nicknamed "hobbits" continue to captivate researchers, reports the New York Times. So far, they haven't been clearly linked to other known human fossils. They may be descendants of Homo erectus who migrated from Africa earlier,... More »

'Hobbits' Were Just Short on Food: Scientists

Others say Indonesian remains were dwarfish new species

(Newser) - In a new volley in the back and forth over whether "hobbit" fossils found on an Indonesian island were a separate species, a research team says the remains are those of modern humans suffering from malnutrition-induced dwarfism. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in humans growing less than 3... More »

Jackson to Helm Hobbit

His Rings lawsuit resolved, Jackson embarks on prequel

(Newser) - Peter Jackson has resolved his lawsuit with New Line and plans to helm two much-hyped Hobbit films, the first due out in 2010, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview with MGM chief Harry Sloan. Jackson will co-write and may direct one or both films—unless he and New Line's Bob... More »

'Hobbits' Were, Indeed, a Different Kind of Human

Wrist-bone analysis shows link to apes

(Newser) - A new study of three wrist bones from an 18,000-year-old fossil shows that the so-called hobbits of Indonesia were, indeed, a separate human species. When the bones were discovered in 2003, scientists trumpeted the find as evidence of a smaller species, Homo floresiensis. But skeptics argued that the hobbit,... More »

11 Stories