New fossils discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores which revealed that our hobbit ancestors were smaller than thought.
The island of Flores in the nation of Indonesia is the site of an intriguing find. A series of fossils have been unearthed that though small in number are of the utmost importance.
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They belong to a species that is small in size and lived in synch with the scarce resources on the island so many years ago. Termed Homo floresiensis, these are also known by their nickname…the hobbits.
The hobbits were survivors. They inhabited a terrain where there were pygmy elephants, komodo dragons, birds, frogs and wild rats. Hunting these species in those primitive times was a tough task.
The bones of many of these animals have been found alongside the limited fossils of hobbits. Since the survival of the hobbits was a matter of struggling against an inhospitable environment, they had to be diminutive in size.
Had they been lumbering giants, such deft maneuvers required for sustainability would not have been possible. A single jawbone, a few teeth and a couple of bones of these hobbits have been exhumed from the earth in Flores. These hobbits were quick in their actions and knew how to manipulate their surroundings.
Speculation continues regarding the ancestors of these hobbits. While Homo erectus arose in the dark dense jungles of Africa so many years ago, it later on spread to other parts.
One of these was the island of Java close to Indonesia. Homo erectus may have been the ancient ancestor of the hobbits or Homo floresiensis. Whatever the case, it is all a whole lot of theoretical constructs that need corroboration before they can become solid facts in their own right.
What is a sure thing is that Homo sapiens were not present in the times of the hobbits or Homo erectus for that matter. They would come much later.
The hobbits were probably an offshoot in the evolutionary (pre)history of mankind. They represent a strain that adapted to a hard environment. There are still missing links in between the ancient hominins and later developments on the evolutionary ladder of man.
As the cultural base expanded, man made various tools that increased his capacity to deal with his environment. The remains of the animals found near the hobbit fossils show that they had been dismembered by tools and weapons that were employed by the hobbits.
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The findings of this study got published in the journal Nature.