The tale begins 700,000 years ago in the tropical grasslands on Flores Island, Indonesia. Volcanoes smolder in the distance and freshwater streams cut through the planes where komodo dragons, giant rats, and pygmy Stegodon, an extinct elephant cousin, roam. Now, researchers think that the pint-sized early humans known to scientists as Homo floresiensis may have been part of this fray.
In two studies published this week in the journal Nature, scientists announce the discovery of six teeth and an adult jaw fragment collected from central Flores that date back 700,000 years—over half of a million years earlier than previous estimates..."