NEW YORK (AP) — It was a spectacular discovery: Fossil remains in an Indonesian cave revealed a recent relative of modern humans that stood about 3 feet tall. The creatures were quickly nicknamed “hobbits.”
With evidence that they had survived to just 12,000 years ago, the hobbits appeared to have been the last of our companions on the human branch of the evolutionary tree to go extinct.
Now, a decade after they made headlines, they’ve lost that distinction. New investigations indicate they evidently disappeared much earlier — about 50,000 years ago, before Neanderthals did, for example.
The new date raises speculation about whether hobbits were doomed by the arrival of modern humans on their island. But it doesn’t change much about their scientific significance, said Matt Tocheri of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Read MORE at Source: Study: Indonesia “hobbit” fossils older than first thought