Physical anthropology

branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species

Physical anthropology deals mainly with looking at how the anatomy of the human body has changed over the course of time. It compares the human body to that of other primates. Studies of physical anthropology often include looking at the evolution of mankind.[1][2]

Some areas of physical anthropology are paleoanthropology and primatology. When physical anthropology is joined to other branches of biology it becomes biological anthropology. Biological anthropology puts together information from the fossil record, the human skeleton, genetics, our primate relatives, human adaptations and behaviour.[3]


  1. Larsen, Clark Spencer 2008. Our origins: discovering physical anthropology. 3rd ed, W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-92143-3
  2. Jurmain R. et al 2013. Introduction to physical anthropology. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. ISBN 1-111-83815-1
  3. Park, Michael 2010. Biological anthropology. 6th ed, McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-811696-4