Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, is a scientific discipline concerned with the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings, their related non-human primates and their extinct hominin ancestors. It is a subfield of anthropology that provides a biological perspective to the systematic study of human beings. This textbook explores evolutionary theory, including the core concepts of basic genetics and the modern synthesis of evolution. Students will examine, critically evaluate and explain scientific claims about the origins of humankind and modern human variation as well as biocultural evolution. Students will develop critical thinking and communication skills through the application of essential anthropological approaches, theories, and methods.
Thumbnail: The original complete skull (without upper teeth and mandible) of a 2,1 million years old Australopithecus africanus specimen so-called "Mrs. Ples" (catalogue number STS 5, Sterkfontein cave, hominid fossil number 5), discovered in South Africa . Collection of the Transvaal Museum, Northern Flagship Institute, Pretoria, South Africa. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 4.0; José Braga; Didier Descouens).