A 3-foot-tall female skeleton discovered in Indonesia last year dubbed "The Hobbit" and believed to be separate human species may have been a diseased human.
The Hobbit's discoverers -- Australian anthropologists Peter Brown, Mike Morwood and Bert Roberts -- are adamant their Hobbit is an entirely separate human species, evolving in isolation on a remote island home of Flores, reported the BBC.
They say the Hobbit was a descendent of some other ancient species and cut off from the rest of the world, and that the species evolved small in stature, much like the pygmy elephants.
The bones were discovered at a dig at Liang Bua, a limestone cave deep in the Flores jungle. Analysis of the 18,000-year-old remains showed the Hobbit had reached adulthood, according to Indonesian anthropologist Teuku Jacob, who declared the bones to be those of a modern human.
Jacob and other researchers say the condition the female suffered from was microcephaly, characterized by a small brain, but it can also be associated with dwarfism, as well as abnormalities of the face and jaw.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
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