Synopsis

Since the diminutive hominid fossils—the so-called “hobbits”—were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, scientists have debated where to place them in the human family tree. Although a few researchers have proposed they are Homo sapiens--with a growth defect, evidence is mounting that the fossils represent a separate species that resembles earlier hominins. This Bio Bulletin highlights recent research that supports the “distinct species” hypothesis.