See also http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9190-new-research-suggests-hobbit-was-not-a-new-species.html for recent hobbit stuff. I’ve also tagged some old posts with ‘hobbit’ if you’re interested…
“It’s been a little over a year and a half now since scientists announced the discovery of the most controversial fossil in the field of human origins: Homo floresiensis aka the Hobbit. Scientists found bones of a diminutive hominid on the Indonesian island of Flores, and estimated that it lived there as recently as 12,000 years ago. It stood about as high as a normal three year old human child and had a brain the size of a chimpanzee’s. But its bones were also found with stone tools. The scientists declared the bones were not human. Instead, they belonged to a species of their own — one that branched off from much older hominids. Later, the scientists offered brain scans and more bones to bolster their case.”
This collection of essays by Carl Zimmer chronicles the ‘hobbit wars’ between rival palaeoanthropologists — is Homo floresiensis a new species or a human pygmy, perhaps with birth defects?