Highlights

  • Anthropologist makes big claim on ancient primate species Homo floresiensis
  • Gregory Forth says short, ape-like ancestor of humans might still be alive
  • In his book, Forth cited local accounts of "ape-men" living in Flores forests

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Ancient ape-like human ancestor living in secrecy on Indonesian island? New book on Homo floresiensis

Hobbit-like Homo floresiensis might still be alive on the Indonesian island of Flores, as per anthropologist Gregory Forth.

Is a mysterious ancestor of modern humans living in secrecy on an island in Indonesia? Yes, quite possibly, says anthropologist Gregory Forth in his new book.


The sensational claim concerns Homo floresiensis, which lived around 7 lakh to 60,000 years ago on the Indonesian island of Flores. The species was nicknamed the "hobbit" because of its short height - around 3 ft 6 inches tall. Homo floresiensis had a small brain, large feet, and used tools.


Gregory Forth has cited legends of short "ape-men" on the island to make the claim that Homo floresiensis might still be alive. In his book, Forth wrote about an account of a man on Flores who claimed to have found a body which was not human, and also not a monkey.


The anthropologist said that he heard various such accounts of small, humanoid creatures on the island. However, other experts studying Homo floresiensis doubt the possibility of the ancient creature being alive today.


John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist said to Live Science that the island of Flores is the size of the US state of Connecticut with a population of 20 lakh people. And in such a situation, the chances of a large primate living unobserved is "pretty close to zero", he said.


Some experts believe the Homo floresiensis, or the "hobbit" went extinct when modern-day humans, or Homo sapiens, arrived in Flores.

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