The tale of Homo floresiensis – aka the hobbit – is beginning to read less like a Tolkien epic than an Agatha Christie whodunit.
Two studies add a new twist to the plot. One claims that the skeleton's ape-like feet push back its ancestry near the dawn of Homo. Another argues that the hobbit is a later offshoot of Homo erectus, dwarfed by aeons of island isolation.
"Either answer is pretty damn exciting," says William Jungers, a palaeoanthropologist at Stony Brook University in New York, who led the analysis of the foot. "It's telling us something pretty amazing about human evolution.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... human.html
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