31 Mar 2016

Evidence suggests humans wiped out hobbits

8:06 am on 31 March 2016

Researchers say the diminutive human species homo floresiensis - dubbed the hobbit - is much older than previously thought.

The hobbit stood about a metre tall, with a brain no bigger than a chimpanzee's. Even so, it could make sophisticated stone tools.

In the 13 years since its discovery, scientists continued investigating and redated the cave sediments in which the hobbit was buried.

The new analysis suggested the species became extinct on its island home about 50,000 years ago.

That was also about the time homo sapiens were believed to have arrived in South East Asia, raising suspicions it was modern humans' ancestors who wiped out the hobbit.