More 'Hobbit' bones are discovered

October 11, 2005
A skull (L) found a year ago in Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores and a human skull
A skull (L) found a year ago in Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores and a human skull

Paleontologists digging on the remote Indonesian island of Flores say they've found more bones of Homo floresiensis, a tiny hominin species.

The findings include a jawbone, and the right arm belonging to the owner of a skull, found last year.

Scientists say the bones provide evidence that H. floresiensis -- small human-like "hobbits" -- were a naturally tiny species, rather than suffering from an abnormally small brain size.

The species was nicknamed "Hobbits" after a race found in fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth universe that first appears in his book "The Hobbit."

The research team, led by Michael Morwood of Australia's University of New England, said dating the remains suggests they were present on the island as recently as 12,000 years ago.

The discovery is detailed in the journal Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: The "Hobbit" hits the headlines again, but is the mystery of its origins really solved?

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