Exploring Physical Anthropology: A Lab Manual and Workbook, 4e

By Suzanne E. Walker-Pacheco  •  
•  528
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Print ISBN  9781640432123
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Exploring Physical Anthropology is a comprehensive, full-color lab manual intended for an introductory laboratory course in physical anthropology. It can also serve as a supplementary workbook for a lecture class, particularly in the absence of a laboratory offering.

This laboratory manual enables a hands-on approach to learning about the evolutionary processes that resulted in humans through the use of numerous examples and exercises. It offers a solid grounding in the main areas of an introductory physical anthropology lab course: genetics, evolutionary forces, human osteology, forensic anthropology, comparative/functional skeletal anatomy, primate behavior, paleoanthropology, and modern human biological variation.

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What's New in this Edition
Table of Contents
About the Author
Instructor Resources
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION provides context for the material covered in the chapter and helps students apply what they learn.
  • OBJECTIVES clearly state what students are expected to know by the end of the chapter.
  • “HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED” represent the types of questions that nonspecialists typically ask about each topic.  Answers are provided during the course of the chapter.
  • Extensive use of FULL-COLOR ART and PHOTOGRAPHY provides students with excellent visual references as they work through the exercises.  This should be of particular benefit when access to a complete set of specimens is not available.
  • CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING questions are provided for students to complete prior to beginning the lab exercises to help ensure they understand the lab material.
  • The HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES are designed to illustrate the concepts presented in the readings. The exercises allow students to experience physical anthropology through use of the same methods used by researchers, with an emphasis on the scientific method. Apart from skeletal and fossil specimens, few laboratory supplies are needed. Many of the experiments and exercises utilize common, everyday materials.
  • MATERIALS LISTS are provided to ensure students have what they need prior to beginning the lab.
  • Clearly-written, numbered PROCEDURES help students successfully complete each exercise.
  • Adequate space is provided in the DATA SHEETS for students to sketch and record their answers to questions.
What's New in this Edition

A significant amount of new material has been added to this edition, including:

  • Significant additions to the following chapters:
    • Chapter 7, Forensic Anthropology
    • Chapter 8, Modern Human Biological Variation
    • Chapter 9, Classification and Primates
    • Chapter 10, The Living Primates
    • Chapter 13, Early Members of the Human Lineage
    • Chapter 14, The Genus Homo
  • The addition of descriptions of nine newly discovered extinct species of early primates and
    members of the human lineage.
  • Nine new lab exercises have been added, and numerous new questions/activities are incorporated
    into existing lab exercises.
  • Data sets of measurements are provided for some lab exercises in case of the absence of specimens
    for students to measure.
  • New and improved and added images throughout. The photographs provided to substitute for or
    supplement lab collections are easy to locate, but are now placed at the end of each relevant lab
    exercise to encourage students’ use of actual specimens if available.
  • Online references to websites for primate observation as well as fossil and skeletal images that can
    be rotated for 3-D viewing are provided.

Chapter-by-Chapter Changes and Additions include:

  • Chapter 1 The Scientific Method and Evolution
    • New photos of physical anthropologists in action and new graphics were added to enhance
      understanding of the scientific method.
    • Enhanced the scientific method information by adding a section on testable vs. untestable hypotheses. The cultural and genetic basis of lactose intolerance is used as an example to illustrate evolution in modern humans.
    • A new example was added to illustrate the process of natural selection based on a long-term ornithological study in the Galapagos.
  •  Chapter 2 Cells and DNA
    • A light change in the order of the material presentation was made so it flows better and is more
    • The graphic depiction of some of the cellular components involved in genetics processes was
  • Chapter 3 Chromosomes and Cell Division
    • Additional Check Your Understanding questions were added.
    • Actual karyotypes are provided for students to analyze in lab exercise.
  • Chapter 4 Inheritance
    • Added new explanatory figures for determining the parental alleles present in sperm and egg cells,
      as well as additional Punnett squares.
    • The pedigree section is reorganized and expanded for clarity and ease of use for conducting
      segregation analyses.
    • Addition of sample segregation analysis for more thorough explanation and preparation for lab
    • Several new pedigree questions were added in Lab Exercise 4.4.
  • Chapter 5 Forces of Evolution
    • A new lab exercise on the effect of genetic drift and gene flow, which do not depend upon specific
      knowledge of the Hardy-Weinberg principle, was added.
  • Chapter 6 The Bones Within Us
    • A new section on bone remodeling, with corresponding new Check Your Understanding questions was added.
  • Chapter 7 Forensic Anthropology
    • The introductory section was expanded, with the inclusion of the terms bioarchaeology and skeletal
    • Added new sections on:
      • Distinguishing human from nonhuman skeletal material,
      • Assessing the minimum number of individuals (MNI) for skeletal remains in an assemblage,
      • A discussion of ante-, peri-, and post-mortem trauma to bone.
    • Replacement of the current term determining with the terms estimating and assessing for aging,
      sexing, and determining ancestry for skeletal remains. This offers more accurate representation of
      what forensic anthropologists have to work with and the reality of the uncertainty involved.
    • Additional and/or more detailed images and photographic views, and enhanced labeling of features
      for sexing skeletal material was added.
    • Reorganized and expanded ancestry section to provide:
      • More thorough descriptions of features used to assess ancestry, and
      • Additional photos, views, and labels for skeletal material to better illustrate distinguishing
    • Addition of figures to illustrate disease observable on bone, organized into tables for each category of disease.
    • Expanded sections on:
      • Cultural and behavioral modification of bone, and
      • Stature reconstruction; formulae added for additional bones.
        • Added Check Your Understanding questions that correspond to all new material.
        • Modifications and additions to lab exercises:
        • Distinguishing between human and nonhuman bone (photos provided in case of limited comparative materials).
    • Newly added sample measurements for cranial metrics and bone lengths so that cranial and facial indices as well as the stature reconstruction portions of lab exercises can be completed even in the absence of skeletal material.
    • New, life-sized photos of humeral and femoral heads are provided to measure for sexing in case these specimens are lacking in the teaching collection.
    • Improved photos for sexing skeletal material and assessing ancestry, and numerous new features were added to the tables for enhanced analysis of ancestry.
    • New images for aging based on epiphyseal union are included.
  • Chapter 8 Modern Human Biological Variation
    • Major new section on inter-group variation that discusses adaptation and acclimatization

      • Evolution of skin color,
      • Responses to extreme temperatures, Allen’s and Bergmann’s rules, and
      • Responses to altitude.
    • New sections on:
      • Blood groups and natural selection with regard to disease, including COVID-19,
      • The social consequences of past evolutionary processes: racism, and
        o Anthropometry.
      • Expansion of Check Your Understanding questions corresponding to new material.
      • A new lab exercise on the evolution of skin color was added with a link to online video that can be
        accessed in or outside of class, accompanied by a set of newly devised questions.
      • A new lab exercise on modern human adaptations, incorporating images and use of measurements to identify adaptations to various environmental conditions was added.
  • Chapter 9 Classification and Primates
    • A new introductory section enhances clarity and offers additional information on classification and systematics.
    • Additional information about Linnaeus and biological classification was added.
    • A substantial new section was added that outlines the history of the vertebrates and major transitions occurring in the evolution of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, as well as expanded coverage of mammalian classification. This allows students to place primates and primate evolution into a broader context and provides additional examples from which to learn about classification and systematics. This information forms the basis for new lab exercises.
    • An updated and more complete primate classification section was added, with the use of more graphics and tables for convenient access to information.
    • Improved photographs.
    • Expanded Check Your Understanding questions correspond to all newly introduced material.
    • Added a new lab exercise on biological classification, using information on vertebrate groups.
    • Added a new lab exercise on systematic biology that is straightforward yet thorough, allowing for greater familiarity with cladograms.
  • Chapter 10 The Living Primates
    •  Expanded the introduction about why physical anthropologists and other scientists study primates.
    • Greatly expanded sections on each major group of primates includes:
      • Information is now provided for Malagasy primates and the loris/potto and galago groups;
        the several groups of New World monkeys; specific information about Old World monkeys,
        including that on colobines and cercopithecines.
      • Additional information on ape behavioral capacities.
        • New sections on:
          • Primate ecology and behavior,
          • Mating systems and how the various categories relate to the opportunity for sexual
            selection to occur and thus to the degree of sexual dimorphism observed, and Primate conservation.
      • Expanded the section on primate behavior to better prepare students for primate study in the lab exercises.
      • Expanded the Check Your Understanding questions corresponding to all of the newly added material.
      • The lab exercise includes more practice identifying primates by features observable in photos.
      • Added a new section in the lab exercise on primate adaptations, diet, and mating systems.
      • Added a new lab exercise on primate conservation, in which students can take action in the real world to raise awareness of or contribute in some way to conservation issues.
      • Added a new lab exercise that prepares students for using the observational techniques.
      • Addition of a list of several websites with webcams or with short videos that are useful for primate observations and allow for practicing data collection methods; particularly useful for those without access to captive primates.
  • Chapter 11 Dietary and Locomotor Adaptations
    • Updated and modified the photos for enhanced clarity.
    • More thorough descriptions of anatomy and function now accompany the photos, particularly for
      postcranial skeletal elements.
  • Chapter 12 Investigating the Past: Fossil Primates
    • Descriptions were added for seven newly discovered extinct primate species.
    • A new section on primate evolution and fossils from the New World, and discussion of the
      phenomenon of rafting was added.
    • Added a new section of fossil Old World monkeys of the Miocene.
    • Expanded the Check Your Understanding questions corresponding to all of the newly added material.
  • Chapter 13 Early Members of the Human Lineage
    • Expanded the section on the introduction to bipedalism, including the idea of facultative versus
      obligate bipeds, and hypotheses about the origins of bipedalism.
    • Revamped the section introducing the hominins, updated classification and clarification of terms.
    • Expanded the section on each hominin species, incorporating newly acquired/discovered information on updates to time ranges or newly accepted information in paleoanthropology.
    • Newly added sections for the fossils “Little Foot” and Australopithecus deyiremeda.
    • Significant expansion of the section on australopiths tool use, including pre-Olduwan tools.
    • Expanded Check Your Understanding questions corresponding to all of the newly added material.
    • Addition of links to 3-dimensional images on several websites for various fossils and early tools, including some interactive websites.
    • Added a new lab exercise on identifying and assessing fossil remains in terms of species as well as form/function relationships; allows students to synthesize information into a more complete picture of hominin evolution.
  •  Chapter 14 The Genus Homo
    • Expanded sections on:
      • Tool use in early Homo,
      • Homo erectus, with more information on hunting, tools and use of fire,
      • The Dmanisi fossils,
      • Innovations of “archaic” Homo sapiens: shelters, tools,
      • Neanderthals: cultural innovations, Mousterian tools and their function,
      •  The Denisovans, and
      • Genetic studies of fossil human remains.
    • Added information and newly published dates for Homo naledi.
    • Added a new section on behavioral modernity, anatomically modern human behavior, and more
      information on Upper Paleolithic peoples.
    • Added a new brief lab exercise on tools of later Homo.
    • Expanded Check Your Understanding questions corresponding to all of the newly added material.
      Includes new questions on the inferences we can make about relationships of extinct species based
      on genetic data.
      Online Instructor’s Manual
Table of contents
Chapter 1: The Scientific Method and Evolution
The Scientific Method
What is Evolution?
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 1.1: Applying the Scientific Method
LAB EXERCISE 1.2: Documenting Biological Variation
LAB EXERCISE 1.3: Simulating Natural Selection
Chapter 2: Cells and DNA
DNA: The Genetic Material
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 2.1: Extracting DNA from a Banana
LAB EXERCISE 2.2: Simulating of DNA Replication and Protein Synthesis
LAB EXERCISE 2.3: Learning DNA Structure and Function
Chapter 3: Chromosomes and Cell Division
Cell Division
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 3.1: Simulating Chromosomes and Cell Division
LAB EXERCISE 3.2: Interpreting Karyotypes
Chapter 4: Inheritance
Basic Principles of Inheritance
Expression of Traits
Predicting Outcomes of Autosomal and Sex-Linked Traits
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 4.1: Identifying Genotypes and Phenotypes, for Autosomal Traits
LAB EXERCISE 4.2: Testing the PTC Tasting Hypothesis
LAB EXERCISE 4.3: Blood Typing
LAB EXERCISE 4.4: Constructing Pedigrees
Chapter 5: Forces of Evolution
Evolutionary Forces
Population Genetics and Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 5.1: Understanding Sickle Cell and Balanced Polymorphism
LAB EXERCISE 5.2: Observing the Effect of Genetic Drift and Gene Flow
LAB EXERCISE 5.3: Documenting Population Genetics
LAB EXERCISE 5.4: Population Genetics Problems
Chapter 6: The Bones Within Us
General Anatomy of Bone
Anatomical Terminology
The Skeleton, Articulations, and Muscle Actions
Axial Skeleton, Part I: The Skull
Axial Skeleton Part II: Vertebral Column and Thorax
Appendicular Skeleton
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 6.1: Anatomical Terminology and the Skull
LAB EXERCISE 6.2: Vertebral Column and Thorax
LAB EXERCISE 6.3: Muscle Actions, Shoulder Girdle, Upper Limb, and Hand
LAB EXERCISE 6.4: The Lower Limb
LAB EXERCISE 6.5: Surface Anatomy
Chapter 7: Forensic Anthropology
Steps and Tools in Forensic Analysis
Assessing Sex
Estimating Age at Death
Assessing Ancestry
Estimating Height
Assessing Health and Nutrition
Inferring Human Behavior from the Skeleton
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 7.1: Distinguishing Between Human and Nonhuman Remains
LAB EXERCISE 7.2: Analyzing Bones Using Osteometry
LAB EXERCISE 7.3: Assessing Sex
LAB EXERCISE 7.4: Estimating Age
LAB EXERCISE 7.5: Assessing Ancestry and Estimating Stature
LAB EXERCISE 7.6: Practicing Anthroposcopy
Chapter 8: Modern Human Biological Variation
Response to Environmental Change
Social Consequences of Evolutionary Processes: Race and Racism
Individual Variation
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 8.1: The Evaluation of Human Skin Color
LAB EXERCISE 8.2: Explaining Modern Human Adaptations
LAB EXERCISE 8.3: The Challenge of Documenting Intergroup Variation in Humans
LAB EXERCISE 8.4: Interindividual Variation: Introduction to Fingerprinting
LAB EXERCISE 8.5: Interindividual Variation: Cranial and Postcranial Measurements
Chapter 9: Classification and Primates
Biological Classification
Systematic Biology
Order Primates
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 9.1: Understanding Biological Classification
LAB EXERCISE 9.2: Practicing Systematic Biology
LAB EXERCISE 9.3: Primate Features
LAB EXERCISE 9.4: Classifying Primate Groups
LAB EXERCISE 9.5: Applying Systematic Biology to the Primate Order
Chapter 10: The Living Primates
Primate Ecology and Behavior
Studying Primates in the Wild and in Captivity
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 10.1: Distinguishing Primate Groups by Features, Behavior, Diet, and Distribution
LAB EXERCISE 10.2: Primate Conservation
LAB EXERCISE 10.3: Primate Observation Methods
LAB EXERCISE 10.4: Observing Captive Primates
LAB EXERCISE 10.5: Alternative to Lab Exercise 10.4
Chapter 11: Dietary and Locomotor Adaptations
Dietary Adaptations
Locomotor Adaptations
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 11.1: Determining Dietary Adaptations
LAB EXERCISE 11.2: Determining Positional Adaptations
Chapter 12: Investigating the Past: Fossil Primates
Investigating the Past
Primate Origins
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 12.1: Investigating Fossils, the Paleoenvironment, and Taphonomy
LAB EXERCISE 12.2: Utilizing Dating Techniques
LAB EXERCISE 12.3: Comparing Primate Ancestors from the Paleocene to the Miocene
Chapter 13: Early Members of the Human Lineage
Bipedalism: Hallmark of Humanity
Early Members of the Human Lineage
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 13.1: Bipedalism
LAB EXERCISE 13.2: Comparative Base: Apes and Humans
LAB EXERCISE 13.3: Features of the Australopiths
LAB EXERCISE 13.4: Measuring Cranial Capacity
LAB EXERCISE 13.5: Tooth and Jaw Function
LAB EXERCISE 13.6: Identifying and Assessing Early Hominin Remains
Chapter 14: The Genus Homo
Earlier Homo
Later Homo
Check Your Understanding
LAB EXERCISE 14.1: Stone Tools and Early Homo
LAB EXERCISE 14.2: Later Homo
LAB EXERCISE 14.2: Later Homo
Appendix A: Cutouts of Beetles, Lab Exercise 1.3
Appendix B: Cutouts of DNA and RNA Bases, Amino Acids, Ribosome and tRNA Molecules, Lab Exercise 2.2
Appendix C: Cutouts of Chromosomes, Lab Exercise 3.2
Appendix D: Latin and Greek Roots for Selected Anatomical Terms
Appendix E: Fossil Primates: Paleocene through Miocene (New World primates not included)
Appendix F: Fossil Members of the Human Line (Hominids/Hominins)
Appendix G: Comparison of Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis Features
About the Author

Suzanne E. Walker-Pacheco caught her travel bug as an Air Force brat, having lived as a child in Massachusetts, Southern California, New Mexico, Nebraska, Guam, and Northern California. After completing her undergraduate degree at San Diego State University, she crossed coasts to attend the City University of New York for her doctorate.

Her early studies in field primatology took her to Venezuela, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Sierra Leone. She is currently a professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Missouri State University. Previously, she taught in coastal Humboldt County, California, surrounded by redwoods. Beaches and forests can be convenient locations for unsavory characters to dump bodies, and Suzanne had the opportunity to begin assisting coroners and medical examiners to identify skeletal remains. She continues to do so in Missouri.

Her primary research interests are now medical anthropology, particularly health issues of Latino immigrants to Southwest Missouri, with a focus on diabetes and obesity prevention in Latino children.

Instructor Resources

The online Instructor’s Manual offers the following:

  • A set of high-quality photos that correlate with those in the lab manual for Chapters 6, 7, and 9
    through 14. These may be printed out and used by the instructor for practice sessions, lab
    exercises, or testing purposes.
  • Answers to the Check Your Understanding questions and lab exercises.
  • Instructor’s “Helpful Hints” section for some chapters.
  • Additional Resources for material covered in each chapter.
  • Errata.
  • Suggested list of minimal collection for a physical anthropology lab class.