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The Men of Flores, nicknamed “Hobbit”, may still be alive, according to an anthropologist – Evening Edition Ouest-France

Nicknamed “Hobbit”, this hominid of about 1 meter and weighing between 12 and 26 kg, would have lived between -100,000 and -60,000 years before our era on the island of Flores, Indonesia. The species, thought to be extinct, may still be present, according to Canadian anthropologist Gregory Forth. He publishes a book in support of this hypothesis, saying thisHomo floresiensis it would have been observed by the local population, with supporting evidence.

(Map: Western France)

They are small hominids that have been raising many questions within the scientific community for more than fifteen years. In 2003, primate bones discovered in the Liang Bua cave on Flores Island in Indonesia, create a shock wave. It is estimated that this species measures about 1 meter, per 16-28 kg, and stood upright. Its small size could be explained by its geographic isolation, a phenomenon of “island dwarfism” observed in other species. Near the bones, we also discover tools made of black flint and volcanic rock. Nicknamed “the Hobbit”, this primate would therefore be part of the genus Homo. The species, named by scientists Homo floresiensishe would have lived between 100,000 and 60,000 years before our era, according to the new published dating in the review Nature .

A 3D reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, “the man of Flores”. (Photo: Cicero Moraes et al./Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0))

Testimonials collected by researchers

Well, this is what we believed. Gregory Forth, an anthropologist who taught at the University of Alberta (Canada) before retiring, has set out on the trail of this little hominid. He had already worked there when the fossils were discovered. He then heard “stories of human-like creatures, some of which were said to be still alive, although very rarely seen”, explains April 18, 2022 in a column published in the journal dedicated to life sciences, The scientist. The descriptions, according to the team’s lead researcher posted to the site, “perfectly matches Floresiensis.

Liang Bua cave, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, where bones and tools of the species Homo floresiensis have been discovered. (Photo: Rosino / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Between ape and man

For the anthropologist it is the beginning of a “stalking” which will culminate in 2022, with the publication of a book in May Between monkey and human published by Pegasus Books. This book will not be based on archaeological discoveries – contrary to the main essays commonly accepted by the scientific community – but on the testimonies of a population residing on the island of Florès, the Lio.

The Lios’ stories speak abundantly of an animal species, which Gregory Forth describes as“monkey man”. On the spot, he has collected more than thirty testimonies of people who have confirmed that they have seen this species. “I conclude that the best way to explain what they have told me is that a non-hominidSapiens survived on Flores until today or very recently “assures the anthropologist.

According to him, scientists would benefit from integrating indigenous stories into their research on hominid evolution, in Indonesia or elsewhere.

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