Image of 'hobbit' human created

Dec. 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM

SYDNEY, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An Australian anthropologist has created what she says is an evidence-based image of the tiny "hobbit" species known as Homo floresiensis.

With a background in forensic science, Susan Hayes was able to flesh out the face of a 3-foot tall, 30-year-old female based on remains uncovered in the Liang Bua cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Homo floresiensis, nicknamed hobbits because of their diminutive size, lived on the Indonesian island of Flores until about 17,000 years ago.

Remains of at least 13 members of the species were unearthed between 2001 and 2004.

"She's not pretty," Hayes said of the image released Monday. "She doesn't have those hyper-feminine features such as big eyes; there isn't much of a forehead."

Hayes, from University of Wollongong, created the image using high-resolution 3D imaging and CT scan data obtained from a female hobbit skull.

Some earlier depictions of what the "hobbits" may have looked like were much more ape-like, but Hayes said her findings suggested modern anatomical features were more likely.

"As a Homo floresiensis, she is closer to us than to a chimpanzee, which is our closest relative," she said. "She is certainly more us than them."

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