"...In an astonishing discovery that could rewrite the history of human evolution, scientists say they have found the skeleton of a new human species, a dwarf, marooned for eons in a tropical Lost World while modern humans rapidly colonized the rest of the planet. The finding on a remote Indonesian island has stunned anthropologists like no other in recent memory. It is a fundamentally new creature that bears more of a resemblance to fictional, barefooted hobbits than modern humans.
...Flores Man was hardly formidable. His grapefruit-sized brain was two-thirds smaller than ours, and closer to the brains of today’s chimpanzees and transitional prehuman species in Africa than vanished 2 million years ago. Yet Flores Man made stone tools, lit fires and organized group hunts for meat. Bones of fish, birds and rodents found near the skeleton were charred, suggesting they were cooked. All this suggests Flores Man lived communally and communicated effectively, perhaps even verbally.
...But the environment in which Flores Man lived was indeed peculiar, and scientists say it probably contributed to the specimen’s unusually small dimensions. Millennia ago, Flores was a kind of a looking-glass world, a real-life Middle-earth inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures like giant tortoises, elephants as small as ponies and rats as big as hunting dogs.
It even had a dragon, although they were giant lizards like today’s carnivorous Komodo dragons rather than the treasure-hoarding Smaug described by novelist J.R.R. Tolkien in his 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy."