via Live Science, 25 April 2022: A new book Between Ape and Human: An Anthropologist on the Trail of a Hidden Hominoid (affiliate link) suggests that Homo florensiensis is not extinct, but as the article notes, there is much skepticism amongst people who have studied the hominid. The claims are based on a collection of anectodal accounts.
Between about 700,000 years ago and 60,000 years ago, a diminutive early human walked the island of Flores, in what is now Indonesia. Homo floresiensis, nicknamed the “hobbit” because it stood only about 3 feet, 6 inches (106 centimeters) tall, was a small-brained, large-footed toolmaker, and no one knows where it evolved from.
Now, one anthropologist is arguing that no one really knows that H. floresiensis went extinct — and that it may survive into the modern day. In a new book, Gregory Forth, an anthropologist retired from the University of Alberta, argues that reports of an “ape-man” on Flores could be sightings of the ancient human ancestor, still kicking today.
“We simply don’t know when this species became extinct or indeed dare I say — I did dare say — we don’t even know if it is extinct,” Forth told Live Science. “So there is some possibility that it is still alive.”
Needless to say, this is a dramatic claim, and experts who study H. floresiensis are skeptical.