It seems that scientists have reached a consensus about the small, hobbit-like beings discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores: these individuals most likely represent a new species of human with advanced brains. (No mention is made of the pipeweed and furry toes, but we can fill in those blanks for ourselves, right?)
Here's the very latest:
From PhysOrg: "Incredible Journey Through 'Hobbit' Brain"
From The Guardian: "Hobbit Saga Ends with Human Connection"
From Nature: "Specials: News on Flores Man"
FYI for those who get The National Geographic Channel, this new information will be featured in a March 13 special edition of Explorer on NGC at 8 p.m. EST/PST, USA.
In honor of the Flores folk:
"Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known."
-Bilbo Baggins, from J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit