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Not everyone has welcomed the discovery.
In Indonesia, the October announcement of Flores Man in the respected British journal Nature ignited controversy within the scientific community and sparked jealousy among experts who were not part of the excavation. The discovery was front-page news around the world.
Teuku Jacob, Indonesia's preeminent paleoanthropologist, accused the Australians of stealing the limelight from Indonesian archeologists by holding their own news conference, and he challenged the conclusion that the bones represented a separate species.
"They are all modern man," declared Jacob, a professor of physical anthropology at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta on the island of Java.
In his quest to disprove the findings, Jacob persuaded an Indonesian member of the team to lend him the priceless bones. For months he refused to give them back, then returned some of them broken, including a smashed pelvis. Members of the excavation team have called his behavior unethical.