'Hobbit' was a dwarf with large feet
The debate continues to rage about the evolution of humans. The finding of human skeletons on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 has intriqued palaeoanthropologists and sparked fierce debates. Some experts say that the small skeleton is that of a 'normal' human dwarf with a small brain case. Other experts maintain that this is a distinct species of human.
Evolutionary experts have identified several Homo(genus) species that are now extinct. This find from Flores has been named Homo floresiensis, the Hobbit for short.
From head to toe, the bones of a metre-tall species dating from somewhere between 17,000 and 95,000 years ago continue to reveal the potential complexities of human evolution.
Two articles published in Nature today focus on Homo floresiensis — one describes how its brain could have dwarfed to its unusually small size1, the other how its large feet, similar to those of chimps, would have allowed it to walk efficiently but probably not to run well on two legs2.