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Last Updated: Thursday October 28 2004 08:07 GMT

Real-life 'Hobbit' skeleton found

Scientists in Indonesia think they've found the remains of a new type of ancient mini-human that could have been a bit like a Hobbit.

She lived 18,000 years ago, was just three-feet-tall, and some experts are calling the new species "the Hobbit".

It's believed that the mini-humans lived on Flores Island in Indonesia until at least 12,000 years ago.

Scientists say the discovery is one of the most important in the study of how humans evolved for decades.

Australian archaeologists found the bones while digging in a cave on Flores.

The researchers have since found remains belonging to six other individuals from the same species.

Because the remains are relatively recent and not fossilised, scientists are even hopeful they might produce DNA.

If they do produce DNA it could provide a completely new view on the evolution of humans.

Legends on the island have included tales of little people for years and some people think some of the 'Hobbits' could still be alive in places where no-one has been.

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