Biological Anthropology: The Scientific Study of Human Biological Variation

Biological anthropology (also called physical anthropology), is a fascinating blend of social and biological studies. With a few extra ingredients, the concept of anthropology is even more intriguing.

The main objective of anthropology is to comprehend human biological and cultural diversity, as well as human origins. As a result, the humans studied by anthropologists can be modern or ancient, and they can come from all over the globe.

What is Biological Anthropology?

Biological Anthropology is concerned with the ecological, physiological, and demographic aspects of human biological variation within human adaptability and evolution contexts. Our research and teaching focus on the factors that shape human diversity across the entire global and historical spectrum.

What is Biological Anthropology

Applications of Biological Anthropology

Applications of Biological Anthropology

Understanding human variation as an evolutionary product has numerous applications outside of academic science and further research. Consider the following:

  • Anthropometry (the measurement of human body form) has applications in industries that require body proportions to consider. Such as clothing, military, sports, and factory work.
  • Kinanthropology, the scientific study of our bodies in motion, provides valuable insights for sports organizations regarding maximum physical potentials, biochemistry and physiology, and musculoskeletal anatomy.
  • Understanding how to draw a profile of a deceased individual from excavated bones and teeth. As it can be useful in commercial archaeology and forensic casework through the study of human remains.
  • Human origins and the dispersal of modern and ancient humans throughout the globe. They provide us with useful clinical and medical knowledge. By informing us about worldwide health variation, and the associations between age, nutrition, and disease. Also about the information about defective genes, and susceptibility/resistance to diseases
  • A degree in primatology (the study of our closest animal relatives, particularly monkeys and apes) can help with conservation, epidemiology, and tourism.
  • Human ecology and evolution provide unique perspectives and knowledge that can be used to better understand the interaction between humans and their environments, and the effects of climate change on individuals and societies worldwide.

So basically, Biological Anthropology teaches you to think analytically and to appreciate human cultural and biological diversity.

What do biological anthropologists do?

The majority of biological anthropologists work in universities and colleges across the country, teaching and conducting research. Some also work in high schools. Others work for state and federal governments, while others are self-employed. They are available in anthropology, anatomy, biological sciences, human biology, zoology, medical school departments, and combined departments of sociology and anthropology or social sciences at colleges and universities. Primate researchers are frequently found in biology or psychology departments, or on the staff of zoos or zoological research institutes.

In this field, researchers may study gorillas and/or chimpanzees in the Congo, follow ancient hominin migration routes in eastern Africa, map gene and linguistic boundaries in Australasia and the Pacific Islands, gather skeletal data in prestigious museums throughout Europe, examine child development and health in South Africa, or dig up ancient sites in countries like Iraq, Kenya, Vietnam, and South Africa.

What are the Opportunities for Studying Biological Anthropology?

Those individuals who want to become biological anthropologists have numerous options. While few high schools offer biological anthropology courses, many do offer anthropology courses or cover anthropology in social studies classes. Various colleges and universities across the country offer anthropology programs, with the majority offering courses in biological anthropology.

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