Biological Anthropology

Here is where you’ll find the archive of Everyday Anthropology content that is related to biological anthropology.

Biological Anthropology, Paleoanthropology, and What it Means to be Human.–Dr. Botty McBotface introduces us to the concept and field of Paleoanthropology, and what to expect from this series of their posts.

Still Looking at that Caveman in the Mirror–Another exciting development in the history of our closest cousins, this post talks about the incredible hunting prowess of the Neandertals, and what that means for understanding their cognitive capabilities.

The Handy Man Can–A brief introduction to the bunch that potentially founded our genus, Homo habilis

Meet Cousin Rudolf.–A brief introduction to a contested member of our genus, Homo rudolfensis.

The Grandparents of My Cousin–In this very basic introduction to a lesser-known species of human ancestor, Homo heidelbergensis, we learn a bit about our shared common ancestry with the Neanderthals as well as common assumptions about what it means to be human.

A brief overview of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, an important but somewhat controversial skull discovered in the Sahel of Chad back in 2001, including some new information published in 2020.

A Little Finger and a Lot of Background.–The announcement that a Denisovan finger bone resembles modern humans but has DNA closer to Neandertal is context for a discussion about understanding morphology in the fossil record.

Pedal for Pongo Documentary Trailer— In anticipation of Pedal Powered Anthropology’s upcoming feature-length documentary on orangutan and environmental conservation, here is the promotional trailer for Pedal for Pongo.

And Then There Were Five– A brief look at the several members of our genus who survived into the most recent times, including the recently announced Homo luzonensis.

The Science of Dating— a video going over some of the various ways scientists figure out the age of things from the past.

The Future of Paleontology in a Global, Digital World.— Technology potentially allows more researchers than ever before to access more materials than dreamed of just a few decades ago. The push to make that access open source is there. Which way should we go with that information?

Why I Won’t Miss the Missing Link.–The “missing link” is one of the most pervasive ideas in the popular understanding of evolution. I hate it, I’m not alone in hating it, and here’s why.

Meme’s the Word— You know those viral internet images that are hilarious and sometimes stinging? They have their roots in the late 70s, directly coined by an Oxford zoologist who was inspired by geneticists, anthropologists, and ethologists in coming up with it.

Pedal for Pongo!— In 2019, my wife and I will be riding from Providence, Rhode Island to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to raise money for orangutan conservation. This page is the information hub where you can find links to all the everything related to it.

Evolution’s Place in Anthropology— This blog is more or less an introduction to Biological Anthropology. It introduces readers to the history of the theory of evolution by natural selection and the ways in which researchers reconstruct our deep biological history.

Caveman in the Mirror: The Case for Our Closest Cousins — This blog is a basic introduction to Paleoanthropology. It addresses common misconceptions about evolution, and in particular the misconceptions around Neanderthal and how they are rooted in the early years of the science and 19th Eurocentric notions about human origins.

A Few Words about Summer, 2013 — My account of a summer spent researching our earliest ancestors in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.

An Introduction to Biological Anthropology –A video introduction to the field of biological anthropology. It’s not short at just over 26 minutes, but if you’re interested in the field, it’s a good start. If you were to take an introductory course on biological anthropology, this is more or less what would be gone over right after the syllabus. (this is a YouTube link, and it opens in another tab)

Introduction to Anthropology –This is a video that introduces the four fields of anthropology as a whole. Pretty much the same information as the introductory article, only in video form. Much more interactive with some great background and imagery.

So…Just What is Anthropology, Anyway? –This is an article that goes over each of the four fields of anthropology. It’s general, and kind of barely scratches the surface in a lot of ways. But it’s a pretty good overview of how anthropology is approach in the United States as well as the history of the science.

That Time I Got to See Jane Goodall — My experience seeing Jane Goodall speak at URI’s Ryan Center in 2017

So What’s Up With That Peruvian Mummy Anyway? — A brief article about that Peruvian Alien Mummy thing that was making headlines in 2017. It mentions a few shortcomings that make it scream out “hoax!,” but in general it highlights the problematic nature of producing such hoaxes. Also Jaime Maussan is pure sewage.