Archaeologists discover real home of the human hobbit
By Mark Henderson
A miniature cousin of modern Man discovered on a remote island could explain myths of dwarves and elves

Exciting find: a skull of Homo floresiensis, known as Flo, found on a remote Indonesian island. PAUL ROGERS

THE remains of a diminutive cousin of modern Man, nicknamed "the hobbit", that lived only 12,000 years ago have been unearthed by scientists, in a spectacular find that rewrites the story of human evolution.

The discovery on a remote Indonesian island shows that Homo sapiens shared the Earth with more primitive relatives not long before the dawn of recorded history, and suggests a tantalising explanation for the myths of elves, dwarves and "wild men of the woods" that are popular all over the world.

Some scientists even believe it possible that the creature, or something like it, could still survive today in the planet's most isolated and unexplored outposts.

Homo floresiensis, which takes its name from the island of Flores where it was found, stood 3ft 3in (1m) tall and had a brain a quarter of the size of modern Man's.

Also known affectionately as "Flo", it hunted pygmy elephants the size of ponies and giant rats as large as golden retrievers, while trying to avoid huge Komodo dragons and other predatory lizards that are extinct.,00.html