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Britteny M. Howell

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 5: Human Growth and Development

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Human Growth and Development
Human growth and development

Physical anthropology, developed in the 19th century before Darwin's theories of natural selection and Mendel's work on genetics, is one of the oldest sub-fields of anthropology. Physical, or biological, anthropology was originally defined as “the natural history of the genus homo” by its principle founder, Paul Broca (1871). In 1918, Aleš Hrdlička defined physical anthropology as the study of man's variation, including racial anatomy, physiology, and pathology (p. 4). Today, biological anthropology includes the study of the mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic inheritance, human adaptation and variation, human growth and development, primate behavior and morphology, and our hominin ancestry.

Many anthropologists specializing in human growth and development are found in departments of medicine, health sciences, and anatomy (Stein & ...

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