A new study of the Homo floresiensis shows that the Indonesians hobbits did not evolve from Homo erectus, as it was previously believed. This new research is the biggest one on this topic. After the bones of Homo floresiensis had been found in 2003 on the island of Flores, many researchers tried to find their origin.
This new research was conducted by the Australian National University (ANU). Now, scientists observed that these Indonesian Hobbits might have evolved from an African ancestor rather than from Homo erectus. Homo floresiensis received the name of Indonesian Hobbits because they have a small stature.
The researchers discovered that these little creatures are more related to Homo habilis. This species is one of the oldest species known that was found in Africa more than 1.75 million years ago. ANU’s research shows that previous studies were wrong when they assumed that these hobbits evolved from Homo erectus. Despite the fact that this species was the only one that lived in those regions before the Indonesian hobbits did.
The leader of the study, Dr. Debbie Argue, mentioned that their research should finally put to rest the debate that has been contested since the Indonesian hobbits were discovered 14 years ago. This analysis observed that there is a connection between Homo floresiensis and Homo habilis which means that they had a common ancestor.
“It’s possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere,” added Dr. Argue.
Previous studies on these Indonesian hobbits focused only on the lower jaw and the skull. This new research used more than 130 data points from the jaws, legs, shoulders, and arms. None of the findings of this new study were able to support the theory that Homo erectus was the ancestor of Homo floresiensis.
Researchers mentioned that they tried to prove the previous theory, but they were unable to do so. Instead, they looked for different connections to other species that lived in before these hobbits. This is how they discovered that the Homo habilis and Homo floresiensis are related. The findings also showed that there is no connection to Homo sapiens.
What is your opinion about this study? Have you heard about these Indonesian hobbits?
Image source: Wikipedia