How much do you know about the "Hobbit" species?



9 Questions

What is Homo floresiensis?

Where were the remains of Homo floresiensis discovered?

What is the estimated height of LB1, the Homo floresiensis specimen?

What is the estimated body mass of Homo floresiensis?

What is the unique dental morphology of Homo floresiensis?

What is the range of brain size of Homo floresiensis?

What is the angle of humeral torsion of Homo floresiensis compared to modern humans?

What is the age range of the Homo floresiensis skeletal material?

What is the significance of the nickname 'hobbit' for Homo floresiensis?


Archaic human from Flores, Indonesia

  • Homo floresiensis is an extinct species of small archaic human that inhabited the island of Flores, Indonesia, until the arrival of modern humans about 50,000 years ago.

  • The remains of an individual who would have stood about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) in height were discovered in 2003 at Liang Bua cave. Partial skeletons of at least nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull, referred to as "LB1".

  • The Homo floresiensis skeletal material is now dated from 60,000 to 100,000 years ago; stone tools recovered alongside the skeletal remains were from archaeological horizons ranging from 50,000 to 190,000 years ago.

  • The first specimens were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores on 2 September 2003 by a joint Australian-Indonesian team of archaeologists looking for evidence of the original human migration of modern humans from Asia to Australia.

  • In 2004, a separate species Homo floresiensis was named and described by Peter Brown et al., with LB1 as the holotype.

  • Specimens are not fossilized and have been described as having "the consistency of wet blotting paper".

  • Stone implements of a size considered appropriate to these small humans are also widely present in the cave.

  • The fossils are property of the Indonesian state. In early December 2004, Indonesian paleoanthropologist Teuku Jacob removed most of the remains from their repository, Jakarta's National Research Centre of Archaeology, without permission.

  • Jacob returned the remains on 23 February 2005 with portions severely damaged and missing two leg bones.

  • American neuroanthropologist Dean Falk and her colleagues performed a CT scan of the LB1 skull and a virtual endocast, and concluded that the brainpan was neither that of a pygmy nor an individual with a malformed skull and brain.

  • A 2016 pathological analysis of LB1's skull revealed no pathologies nor evidence of microcephaly, and concluded that LB1 is a separate species.

  • The most important and obvious identifying features of Homo floresiensis are its small body and small cranial capacity.Key Facts about Homo Floresiensis

  • Homo Floresiensis is an extinct hominin species that lived on the Indonesian island of Flores.

  • The species was discovered in 2003 at Liang Bua cave on Flores by a group of Australian and Indonesian researchers led by paleoanthropologist Michael Morwood.

  • The specimen nicknamed the “Hobbit” was a female, designated LB1, who lived around 50,000 years ago.

  • The species had a remarkably small brain size, placing it in the range of chimpanzees or the extinct australopithecines.

  • Homo Floresiensis had a unique dental morphology, with primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies.

  • The height of LB1 is estimated to have been 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in), and the body mass is estimated to have been 25 kg (55 lb).

  • The specimens resemble H. erectus, a species known to have been living in Southeast Asia at times coincident with earlier finds purported to be of H. floresiensis.

  • The angle of humeral torsion of H. floresiensis is much less than in modern humans, and the leg bones are more robust than those of modern humans.

  • The cave yielded over ten thousand stone artefacts, mainly lithic flakes, surprising considering H. floresiensis's small brain.

  • The youngest H. floresiensis bone remains in the cave date to 60,000 years ago, and the youngest stone tools to 50,000 years ago.

  • The species disappeared close to the time that modern humans reached the area, suggesting that the initial encounter caused or contributed to their extinction.

  • Homo Floresiensis was nicknamed the “hobbit” by the discoverers, after the fictional race popularized in J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit.


Test your knowledge about the fascinating archaic human species that once inhabited the island of Flores, Indonesia. Take this quiz to learn more about Homo floresiensis, also known as the "Hobbit" species, including their physical characteristics, unique dental morphology, and the archaeological discoveries made in Liang Bua cave. Challenge yourself with questions about their brain size, estimated height and body mass, and the possible reasons for their extinction. Don't miss this opportunity to discover more about one of the

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