· Scientists shed new light on disputed skeleton find
· Bone analysis supports distinct species theory
- Taken from The Guardian. Written by James Randerson, science correspondent, Friday September 21 2007
It was the most astonishing anthropological find of a generation – a diminutive new species of human that apparently shared the planet with us until 13,000 years ago.
But the discovery of the fossilised “Hobbit”, as she quickly became known, has provoked a long-running and sometimes acrimonious debate among scientists: was she really one of a race of mini-humans or was she merely one of us, but with a brain-shrinking disease?
Now scientists have analysed fossilised wrist bones that were part of the original discovery in 2003 but had not been looked at in detail. They say they prove the Hobbit really was a distinct and previously unknown type of human, and not just an abnormally small member of our own species.