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‘Hobbits’ Found in Indonesia May Have Gone Extinct Earlier Than Previously Thought

Mar 31, 2016 10:18 AM EDT
Ling Bua
This is Ling Bua, where archaeological excavations are done and where the remains of the Indonesian hobbits were found.
(Photo : Smithsonian Museum of Natural History)

After researchers looked into the timeline of the Siberian unicorn and got some surprises, they now have discovered that the timeline for Indonesian "hobbits" is also in need of fixing.

A new study published in the journal Nature revealed that the tiny human, Homo floresiensis or also known as the hobbit, at Liang Bua (Flores), Indonesia has vanished from the face of the Earth earlier than previously thought.

According to a CBS News report, the hobbits of Indonesia were first discovered in 2003.

Hobbits have small, chimpanzee-sized brain and stood only three and a half feet tall. They used stone tools and is said to hunt pygmy elephants.

Researchers during that time dated the hobbits to be extinct 12,000 years ago, which as it turns out was wrong.

Time reported that further excavation at Flores from 2007 to 2014 revealed that the remains of the hobbits are mostly dated 60,000 to 100,000 year ago, thousand years earlier than the previous estimation of its extinction.

Stone artifacts that are believed to be used by the hobbits were also found in the excavated cave. These are believed to be from 50,000 to 190,000 years ago.

During that time, according to Fox News, modern humans were already traveling from Asia to Australia.

Researchers believe that the hobbits and modern humans may have crossed paths somewhere along the way.

Modern humans are believed to have reached Australia about 50,000 years ago. The only way of transportation during that time was by feet, making it more likely that modern humans passed through Indonesia to reach Australia.

There is still no concrete evidence supporting the claim that modern humans clashed with the hobbit and may have been the potential cause of their demise.

But, researchers noted that along with the hobbits' disappearance, many other species on Flores, such as Komodo dragons, vultures and pygmy stegodon, also vanished.

Many factors are being looked into for their extinction, but the most likely causes are increased volcanism and climate change.

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