Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis

Museum of Anthropology
at Rowan University
Click any image to enlarge

Common Name: The Hobbit

Scientific Name: Homo floresiensis

Location Collected: Island of Flores, Indonesia

Geographical Range: Island of Flores, Indonesia

Time Frame: 95,000-17,000 YA

Skull Length: 12.7 cm

Skull Height: 10.8 cm

Gonial Length: 6.1 cm


Homo floresiensis also known as “the Hobbit,” lived about 95,000 to 17,000 years ago and were confined to the small Island of Flores, Indonesia. The first collections were found in the Liang Bua cave in 2003 accompanied with stone tools. Scientists believe the small stature and brain size may be the result of island dwarfism (an evolutionary process that results from long-term isolation on a small island with limited food resources). The Stegodon, an extinct pygmy elephant found on Flores, showed the same adaptation.

Homo floresiensis stood approximately 3 feet 6 inches tall, had tiny brains, large teeth for their small size, shrugged-forward shoulders, no chins, receding foreheads, and relatively large feet in comparison to their short legs. Despite their tiny brains, H. floresiensis made stone tools for hunting. Charred animal bones suggest that they used fire for cooking. Evidence of cut marks on bones implies that floresiensis hunted Stegodon and larger rodents similar to the Komodo dragon. The extinction of the H. floresiensis is suggested to be a result of a volcanic eruption on the island approximately 12,000 years ago.