Was the 'Hobbit' species the result of island shrinkage?

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Ever since its discovery a decade ago on the Indonesian island of Flores, scientists have puzzled over the origins of a diminutive species of human nicknamed "The Hobbit".

But a new study of the creature's remains suggest that it could be a version of the early human species homo erectus - which arrived on the island, and shrunk.

The process known as "island dwarfing" occurs when an isolated population becomes smaller bodied through evolution.

Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London explains this new theory behind the metre-high species.

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