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'Hobbit' discoverer dies

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Mike Morwood
Mike Morwood

The Australian archaeologist who rocked the science world with his discovery of a tiny new species of human known as the "hobbit" has died after a year-long battle with cancer, his university said on Wednesday.

Mike Morwood, the professor who was instrumental in the discovery of Homo floresiensis in 2003, died on Tuesday, the University of Wollongong said. He was 62.

"It was the adventure of a lifetime for Mike," long-time colleague Bert Roberts said of the revelation on the Indonesian island of Flores which shook the scientific community and the world's understanding of human evolution.

"The fact that he actually could discover a brand new species of human, I mean, how many archaeologists and anthropologists can ever do that?

"It really is a very, very rare treat and Mike was just absolutely overjoyed to be able to go through that adventure, because it's never to be repeated."


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