SCIENCE

Did Modern Humans Wipe Out Ancient Hobbit Species?

  • Mary Nichols , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Mar, 31, 2016, 02:44 PM
(Photo : Getty Images/Jim Watson) A new study suggests that Hobbit people living in Indonesia may have died out when the first modern humans came onto the scene 50,000 years ago.

A new study suggests that Hobbit people living in Indonesia may have died out when the first modern humans came onto the scene 50,000 years ago.

The Homo floresiensis species, nicknamed "The Hobbit" by researchers, was first discovered in 2003 when remains were found in a cave on an island called Flores in Indonesia, writes Tech Times. Following their discovery, researchers dated the species' extinction to around 12,000 years ago.

However, a new study shows that the species became extinct almost 50,000 years ago.

The tiny humans stood at approximately 42 inches tall, with brains that were similar in size and shape to that of modern chimpanzees. The brains of this species gave H. floresiensis the aptitude to craft and use stone tools in their everyday tasks - including hunting animals.

Scientists believe that modern humans spread to the islands in Indonesia about 50,000 years ago - something that may have spurred the extinction of the H. foresiensis people.

Scientists have found fossil records suggesting that some species of animal including large Komodo dragons disappeared from the island around the same time that modern humans began to settle on the island.

"To me, the question is, 'Would the Hobbits have become extinct if humans had never made landfall on Flores?' and the answer is 'no.' We were likely the decisive factor in their demise, but we still need to find hard evidence to back up this hunch," said Bert Roberts of the University of Wollongong in Australia, Reuters reported.

Archaeologists took sediment samples from the dirt surrounding the skeletal remains, along with the stone tools. Using dating methods, scientists found that the tools were aged between 50,000 and 190,000 years before our time, while the hobbit bones were between 60,000 to 100,000 years old.

Earlier measurements had found that the bones were between 11,000 and 13,000 years old. However, it is believed that a simple mistake in the dating process may have been responsible for this. The sedimentary layers surrounding the bones may have been confused - leading researchers to believe the bones were younger than they were. New data samples were based on new digs in the area, providing more accurate data for dating the finds.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

© 2015 Design & Trend All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

SPOTLIGHT

Selena Gomez

ENTERTAINMENT Apr, 15, 2016, 09:18 AM

Selena Gomez Opened Up About Rehab In GQ
facebooktwitter

Latest Stories

Selena Gomez

ENTERTAINMENT Apr, 15, 2016, 09:18 AM

Selena Gomez Opened Up About Rehab In GQ
facebooktwitter

BTS

ENTERTAINMENT Apr, 15, 2016, 08:25 AM

BTS Star In Hilarious New BBQ Chicken Ad!
facebooktwitter