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A tiny human race which was recently discovered in Indonesia was not an early human but an entirely different species, scientists have found. The ancient “hobbits”, who would have stood at 3.5 foot tall, were found at Liang Bua on the island of Flores in 2003. Experts initially believed the Homo Floresiensis – or Flores man – were just a shrunken variety of early humans. But a study by The Australian National University (ANU) found the race were most likely a completely different species.

Researchers think they were related to a sister species of Homo habilis – one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago. Visiting Fellow Dr Debbie Argue of the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology said the results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered. She said: “The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. READ MORE