About This Chapter
Physical Anthropology Fundamentals - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, you'll review the fundamentals of physical anthropology, including the definition and subfields of biological anthropology and the ways genetics can help anthropologists understand human behavior. Additional lessons cover the evolution and adaptation of living primates. This chapter is designed to:
- Explain how the process of natural selection was illustrated in Darwin's observations
- Detail the diet and behavior of hominids
- Define paleontology
- Differentiate between relative age and absolute age
- Outline the evolutionary history of humans
- Discuss human evolution and the human fossil record
These learning materials are readily accessible 24 hours a day on your computer or mobile device for convenient study. Watch an entire video lesson to cover all the topics, or skip ahead to a specific section using the video tabs found in the Timeline. Our printable lesson transcripts make great study guides you can use to review essential keywords and themes.
1. What is Biological Anthropology? - Definition & Subfields
Why do some people fear open spaces? How can science help solve crimes? These and many other questions have much to do with the field of biological anthropology.
2. How Genetics Helps Us Understand Human Behavior
This lesson demonstrates how physical anthropologists use genetics to better understand the human experience. You'll learn how they combine their knowledge of both biology and the social sciences together to contribute to their field.
3. How Darwin's Observations Showed the Process of Natural Selection
In this lesson, we will learn about the observations that led to the development of Darwin's theory of natural selection. We'll explore how natural selection happens and how this brings about genetic diversity.
4. Living Primates: Evolution, Adaptation & Behavior
What do you have in common with other primates? What's different? This lesson begins to explore these questions, including the physical and behavioral adaptations that helped primates to evolve.
5. The Evolution of Humans: Characteristics & Evolutionary History
Just like other organisms, humans have changed over time. We will look at the evolution of humans as well as connections with our primate relatives, including Old World and New World primates.
6. Hominids: Traits, Diet & Behavior
This lesson will help you to better understand hominids. We'll discuss the characteristics, diet and behavior of hominids, in order to give you a better idea of what this species is like.
7. Paleontology & Dinosaurs - Definition, History & Facts
For most of human history, paleontology was like the fossil evidence it is based on--undiscovered. Once unearthed, the science of paleontology grew rapidly, evolving in unpredictable ways. Learn the definition of paleontology and the history of this rock-solid science, then test your new knowledge with a quiz.
8. What is Relative Age? - Definition & Effect
How do geologists determine the age of different rock layers or fossils without the aid of modern equipment? Learn how geologists use rock layers to determine relative ages.
9. Absolute Age: Definition & Dating
Imagine braving the desert heat for days or even weeks as you dig for dinosaur bones. You find something extraordinary and want to know as much about it as you can. In this lesson, you'll learn how scientists determine the absolute age of materials.
10. The Human Fossil Record & Human Evolution
Fossils can help tell the story of how we evolved. This lesson sheds light on our closest relatives from the past and what traits human beings have developed over time. You'll learn about those species that are extinct but who live on in our genes.
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Other chapters within the DSST General Anthropology: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- Fundamental Concepts in Anthropology
- Anthropological Perspectives
- Influences on Gender, Race & Culture
- Basic Principles in Archaeology
- Cultural Systems & Processes
- Principles of Language & Communication
- Principles of Social Organization
- Economic & Political Organization
- Fundamentals of Religious Studies
- Modernization & the Future of Anthropology
- DSST Informational Resources
- DSST General Anthropology Flashcards