Comprehensive study of the bones of Homo floresiensis (dubbed “the hobbit”), discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, Indonesia, in 2003, revealed that the species of tiny human most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.
Homo floresiensis is known to have lived on Flores until as recently as 54000 years ago. The researchers came up with a conclusion that Homo floresiensis are most likely a sister species of Homo habilis, one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago. According to the newest data there is no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, which is the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.
According to the researchers, the analyses of 133 data points ranging across the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. It means these two shared a common ancestor. This means that there is a possibility that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into the form known as Homo floresiensis.
(after Popular Archaeology, PhysOrg, Katrina Kenny & Australian National University)