(ORDO NEWS) — More than 50 thousand years ago, giant carnivorous storks Leptoptilos robustus competed with Homo floresiensis hominins in a unique ecosystem on a tropical island.
Previously, scientists believed that the extinct two-meter storks Leptoptilos robustus could not fly, but new evidence has refuted this.
The birds belonged to an unusual group of Pleistocene species that lived on the island of Flores (Indonesia), where they had previously found the remains of “hobbits” – representatives of Homo floresiensis, whose growth was a little over a meter.
According to Hanneke Meyer, the author of the new study, the “hobbits” from Flores could be scavengers.
In this case, according to scientists, they had to compete with huge carnivorous storks. Given the small growth of the “hobbits”, they could only get leftovers.
Bones of Homo floresiensis were found in a cave on Flores almost 20 years ago. Judging by some features of the bones, the “hobbits” ate meat and other foods.
The hominins that lived on the island 100,000 to 50,000 years ago are still a scientific mystery because scientists do not fully understand how this species originated and how its evolution proceeded.
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