A nearly complete fossilized skeleton belonging to a 3 ½ foot adult female specimen of Homo floresiensis was discovered in 2003 on the Island of Flores, Java, Indonesia. Hominin body size and cranial capacity generally increased through time, but the small stature of H. floresiensis is analogous to  australopithecines. Smaller than any other Homo species, H. floresiensis has a cranial capacity of 417 cc, and a long low cranium that is widest at the base. However, H. floresiensis is more like later Homo with reduced dentition, no chin, and a non-prognathic gracile face with separate brow ridges over each orbit.

Some researchers argue that H. floresiensis is a dwarfed specimen of Homo erectus. The combination of primitive and advance traits however, suggest the naming of H. floresiensis as a new species that may exhibit insular dwarfing (i.e. a situation where the small stature may have a selective advantage over a larger body size, especially in closed environments such as an island.

H. floresiensis remains are associated with stone tools, such as flakes, blades and perforators, as well as faunal remains, such as rats, dwarfed elephants and komodo dragons, that exhibit evidence of food preparation and cooking. The type specimen for H. floresiensis is a partial skeleton LB 1 which was found at the Liang Bau Cave, Flores, Indonesia, and dates to 18,000 CE.