Flores Man

In this focus:

Current research | Weblinks | Archive | Evolution in the Pacific Rim

The announcement this time last year of the discovery of Homo floresiensis — also known as 'The Hobbit' — caused a sensation. But some questioned whether the Hobbit really is a new species, rather than a human with a congenital disorder.

In this updated web focus, Nature presents new evidence that dispel these doubts: Homo floresiensis lived on the island of Flores until a few thousand years ago, and appears to have been able to make stone tools, hunt, butcher and cook the pygmy elephants with which it shared its island home. See also the News@Nature.com award-winning Flores Man Special


Current research


Further evidence for small-bodied hominins from the late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia

M. J. Morwood et al.

Nature Nature 437, 1012-1017 (13 October 2005) doi:10.1038/nature04022


Palaeoanthropology: Further fossil finds from Flores

New fossil discoveries on Flores, Indonesia, bolster the evidence that Homo floresiensis was a dwarfed human species that lived at the end of the last ice age. But the species' evolutionary origins remain obscure.
Daniel E. Lieberman

Nature 437, 957 (13 October 2005) doi:10.1038/437957a


More evidence for hobbit unearthed as diggers are refused access to cave

Rex Dalton

Nature, 437, 934 (13 October 2005) doi:10.1038/437934a




A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia

Brown, P. et al.

Nature 431, 1055-1061 (2004)


Human evolution writ small

M.L. Marta et al.

Nature 431, 1043 (2004)


Palaeoanthropology: Looking for the ancestors

Rex Dalton

Nature 434, 432-434 (24 March 2005) doi:10.1038/434432a

Little lady of Flores forces rethink of human evolution

Rex Dalton

Nature 431, 1029 (28 October 2004) doi:10.1038/72757

Fossil finders in tug of war over analysis of hobbit bones

Rex Dalton

Nature 434, 5 (3 March 2005) doi:10.1038/434005a


Exhibition: Hirst's hobbit

Michael Hopkin

Nature 434, 702 (7 April 2005) doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400471



Tabitha M. Powledge

EMBO reports 6 7, 609-612 (2005) doi:10.1038/7383


Evolution in the Pacific Rim

With the discovery of Flores Man, a new species of human that lived on Flores from as long ago as 95,000 years ago until as recently as 12,000 years ago, the Pacific Rim is yet again proving to be the dusty attic of evolution — full of unusual and often bizarre artefacts of biology. In this web focus, Nature also presents some of the other oddities that have sprung up from this fascinating region.

Fission track age of stone tools and fossils on the east Indonesian island of Flores

An earlier work on Flores by Morwood et al. documenting 800,000-year-old stone tools on an island that could only be reached by boat, implying that Homo erectus was a mariner. Were they the ancestors of the new Flores hominin?
Morwood, M.J. et al.

Nature 392, 173-176 (1998) doi:10.1038/8364

Early Homo and associated artefacts from Asia

Some teasing and fragmentary evidence of an ancient pre-erectus hominid in China.
Wanpo H. et al.

Nature 378, 275-278 (1995)

A new species of living bovid from Vietnam

A paper that shows that large mammals, including this large ox-like beast are even now being discovered for the first time, especially in South-East Asia.
Dung, V.V. et al.

Nature 363, 443-445 (1993)

Indonesian 'king of the sea' discovered

The discovery of specimens of the coelacanth in Indonesian waters raises questions about the geographical distribution and conservation status of this remarkable fish.
Erdmann, M.V. et al.

Nature 395, 335 (1998)

New ages for human occupation and climatic change at Lake Mungo, Australia

Lake Mungo is a site of enormous importance, hosting the source of the world's oldest human mitochondrial DNA, as well as the world's oldest ritual ochre burial. Here, Bert Roberts and colleagues re-date modern man's occupation in Australia.
Bowler J.M. et al.

Nature 421, 837-840 (2003)

Thermoluminescence dating of a 50,000-year-old human occupation site in northern Australia

Bert Roberts, one of the co-authors on the Flores Man papers, here describes how modern humans arrived in Australia up to 60,000 years ago, earlier than previously thought.
Roberts R.G. et al.

Nature 345, 153-156 (1990)

Pleistocene dates for the human occupation of New Ireland, northern Melanesia

Allen, J. et al.

Nature 331, 707-709 (1988)