Homo floresiensis also referred to as the Hobbits (for reasons which will be explained) roamed the earth 100,000 to 50,0000 years ago in the island Flores, Indonesia, for which it got its name. Found in a cavern by an Australian paleoarcheaoligcal group, the skeletal pieces of H. floresiensis, including a tiny skull and a little lower jaw, resembled a child. However, it was unique in that the skull had adult teeth leading the archaeologist to believe that the skull was instead from an adult. Further research deduced that H. floresiensis stood at three feet tall, had a very small brain, roughly 385cc, which compared to the modern ~1400 cc meant lower mental capacity. The species had other primitive features including long arms and unarched feet, which evolutionarily provided species with better jungle movement. Although, the most surprising evidence found was the presence of stone tools near the remains. Which begged the major question how was it this species with the small brain size were intelligent enough to utilize/create them. Further more was this the reason that this species lived as long as it did, especially compared to the physically similar species Australopithecus afarensis which went extinct thousands of years prior.
In lecture we learned that one hypothesis is that H. floresiensis small size is due to the island idea of evolutionary dwarfism, and that brain development shows a decline in evolution, from a larger smarter species, due to the limited resources. However an article in The Guardian by Mckie article discusses another hypothesis, one in which the species did not shrink but rather started off that way is a direct descendent of the genus homo that left Africa originally.
Both of these hypothesis provides researchers helpful insights into the evolutionary stages. But no matter which hypothesis is correct in terms of their specific evolutionary past; evolution from a more developed species or a species that evolved directly from the species Homo that left Africa, it provides insight into both evolution and diversity of the species Homo.
The species was around during a time when all other species had very different characteristics, which shows huge diversity in human diversity. At the same time were the Denisovans which had larger brain sizes, larger statures and in general were less primitive. Today only we remain as a non-primitive species. The ability of, or notion, where two different distinct species could have been around shows greatly how evolution varies. Some evolutionist say changes are more abrupt while others argue for a more linear trend(mostly ascension) Homo floresiensis goes almost against both of these as they were around for a long time span, and were able to accomplish more than what was thought of such a primitive species. Which is what I think the species has taught us the most. Because it has us asking the most questions. How did they get to the island, when, did they have interactions with other species, what happened to them? The only definitive thing known is that they were distinct from other species of their time and yet flourished.