It was, perhaps, inevitable that Homo floresiensis, the three-foot-tall species of primitive human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, would come to be widely known as "hobbits". After all, like JRR Tolkien’s creation, they were "a little people, about half our height".
But a New Zealand scientist planning an event about the species has been banned from describing the ancient people as “hobbits” by representatives of the Tolkien estate.
Dr Brent Alloway, associate professor at Victoria University, is planning a free lecture next month will speak about the species. The talk is planned to coincide with the premiere of The Hobbit film.
But when he approached the Saul Zaentz Company/Middle-earth Enterprises, which owns certain rights in The Hobbit, he was told by their lawyer that “it is not possible for our client to allow generic use of the trade mark ‘Hobbit’.” GNS
‘Yeti hair’ found in Russian cave
Moscow: In an astonishing claim, scientists have said that DNA tests of supposed “Yeti hair” found in a Siberian cave have revealed that it belongs to an unknown mammal closely related to humans.
The samples of hair were found in the Azasskaya Cave in the Mourt Shoriya area of Kemerovo region in Siberia during an international expedition last year.
“We had ten samples of hair, and have concluded that they belong to mammal, but not a human, and not the animals known to the area,” said professor Valentin Sapunov of the Russian Hydrometeorological Institute. PTI