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When is a Hobbit Not a Hobbit?

First there were hobbits. Then there weren't hobbits. Then there were hobbits again, but they were regular humans with a disease. Now the verdict is in: There WERE hobbits but they WEREN'T human!

In a an analysis of the size, shape and asymmetry of the cranium of one of the beings that have come to be known as "Hobbits," researcher Karen Baab and her colleagues have concluded that the fossil, found in Indonesia in 2003, is not human. They used 3-D shape analysis to study the skull and found its shape to be that of a scaled-down human ancestor but not a modern human, meaning that the hobbit is a new species.

The question as to whether the hobbit was human or another species remains controversial. Some scientists claim the hobbit was a diminutive human that suffered from some type of disease that causes abnormal growth of the brain, so it's much smaller than a normal human skull.

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