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'Hobbit' Species May Have Lived On Isolated Indonesian Island

Update Date: Jan 18, 2016 03:56 PM EST

An ancient species of humans called the "hobbit" may have lived on an island ages ago. Scientists from the University of Wollongong are able to place them correctly in the evolutionary human timeline, according to Fox News.

The early humans, also called the homo floresiensis species of early humans, had a 3-foot stature and grapefruit sized brain, and existed till just 18,000 years ago. This race was existing on Sulawesi, an Indonesian island.

"There might have been a totally different human species living on Sulawesi before modern humans arrived with boats around 50,000 years ago," said Gerrit van den Bergh, lead author of the study. "Evolving under isolation on an island under hundreds of thousands of years in isolation, the outcome may have resulted in a distinct human species, different from Homo erectus or Homo floresiensis."

Earlier, some fossils were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. The historical and evolutionary relevance of the fossils on Sulawesi was examined in the latest research.

The team hopes to find some evidence even in the surrounding islands, such as Borneo and the Philippines.

"Now, we can start trying to find fossil evidence of the makers of these ancient tools," van den Bergh added.

The study was published in the Jan.14,2016 issue of the journal Nature.

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