Making news around the world is the discovery of a new member of the human family tree, Homo floresiensis – a hominid only 1-metre in stature that lived just 18,000 years ago. Nicknamed ‘hobbits’ due to their tiny size, remains of the hominid have been found on the Indonesian island of Flores. A Nature special takes a detailed look at the find, which is destined to be a paradigm-changing event in anthropology.
Included in the Nature special is an interesting opinion piece which says the new find brings cryptozoology back from the scientific wilderness. It argues that, considering how recently the hominid was around (and that it may still be around for all we know), it brings more credibility to searches for creatures like the Yeti and the Orang Pendek of Sumatra. I think the article is spot on with this observation, and cryptozoologists will find plenty of ammunition in this latest find to back the underlying philosophy behind their research.