Did Modern Humans Wipe Out the 'Hobbits'?
The tiny denizens of Flores island died out earlier than we thought, and suspiciously close to when Homo sapiens arrived in the region.
Thousands of years ago, hobbits roamed a lush, green land. They gathered food, took shelter in cozy holes in the earth, and even battled dragons. This is no fantasy epic—it’s the likely lifestyle of an ancient human relative that thrived on the island of Flores in Indonesia.
Discovered in 2003 in Liang Bua cave, Homo floresiensis stood about three and a half feet (1.1 meters) tall and weighed around 75 pounds (35 kilograms). Nicknamed for the diminutive heroes in J.R.R. Tolkien's famous novels, the real-life hobbits made stone tools and might have survived predatory attacks from komodo dragons. Even more exciting to anthropologists, the discovery team originally estimated that these “halflings” lived as recently as 12,000 years ago,