The discovery of unusual skeletal remains on the islands of Palau suggests that the so-called 'hobbits' found several years ago in Indonesia may have been dwarf humans, not a separate species.
Writing in the journal PLoS One, researchers report that they discovered parts of human skeletons dating to between 900 and 2,800 years ago in caves on the Pacific islands of Palau. The researchers say that the remains, though quite small, are clearly those of modern humans. A population living in isolation, as on an island, can develop 'insular dwarfism,' the researchers say. However, though the newly found remains are similar to those found on the island of Flores several years ago, the researchers cannot say definitely that similar factors are at work in both sets of remains. We'll talk with one of the authors of the new study about the work.
Produced by Karin Vergoth