The remains of a species of very small hominins called Homo floresiensis (or hobbits) which went extinct only 15,000 years ago were discovered in Indonesia in 2003. Ever since there has been a debate as to whether or not these hominins were a type of modern humans. A recent study supposedly establishes unequivocally that they were not. Per the article:

Diminutive humans that died out on an Indonesian island some 15,000 years ago were not Homo sapiens, but a different species, according to a study published Monday that dives into a fierce anthropological debate. Fossils of Homo floresiensis — dubbed “the hobbits” due to their tiny stature — were discovered on the island of Flores in 2003. Controversy has raged ever since as to whether they are an unknown branch of early humans or specimens of modern man deformed by disease….An adult hobbit stood a metre (three feet) tall, and weighed about 25 kilos (55 pounds)….the researchers secured high-resolution images recently generated in Japan to compute maps of bone thickness variation. “There is a lot of information contained in bone layers of the skull,” Balzeau told AFP. The results, he said, were unambiguous: “There were no characteristics from our species” — that is, Homo sapiens. And while they found evidence of minor maladies, there was nothing corresponding to the major genetic diseases other researchers had pointed to. But if one part of the mystery may be solved, another remains intact. For while the scientists could not exclude the possibility that the “hobbit” was a scaled-down version of Homo erectus that arrived on the neighboring island of Java some million years ago, nor could they be sure that H. floresiensis was not a species it its own right.

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