31 Mar 2016

'Hobbit' didn't last long

From Nine To Noon, 9:45 am on 31 March 2016

New excavations in Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores suggest that the diminutive early human Homo floresiensis (nicknamed the "Hobbit") disappeared much earlier than previously thought.

Homo floresiensis was first discovered in 2003, and stood about 3-and-a-half feet tall.

The Indonesian, Australian and New Zealand researchers say the new evidence indicates that the species used the cave until around 50,000 years ago, not as recently as 12,000 years ago as previously suggested.

Brent Alloway of Victoria University, who is one of the researchers, talks to Kathryn Ryan about this curious species.

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Nine To Noon

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)