By definition, evolution is the process by which living organisms are thought to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth. Anthropology is the study of humans and more specifically, physical or biological anthropology is the study of the evolution of humans. According to the University of California Santa Cruz, "Using an evolutionary perspective, we examine not only the physical form of humans "the bones, muscles, and organs," but also how it functions to allow survival and reproduction " (Physical/Biological, n.d.). .
Within the field of biological anthropology, there are specific disciplines all of which concentrate on evolution. Human biologists study the differences in humans as a species, inherited genetic patterns and adaption to environmental stresses. Primatologists focus on the capabilities and behavioral patterns of non-human primates such as monkeys and apes. Paleoanthropologists work to understand evolution by studying fossil records of humans and their primate ancestors. .
What a Physical Anthropologist May Study.
As an example, a physical Anthropologist or primatologists may study non human primates such as monkeys and apes to understand their relationship with humans. The organization, Living Links of Emory University specifically studies apes and human evolution. According to their website, "The primary mission of the Living Links Center is to study human evolution by investigating our close genetic, anatomical, cognitive, and behavioral similarities with great apes"" (Welcome, n.d.). Living Links actually has three apes on site in which they use to conduct behavioral research. This type of research is important to human evolution because it helps researchers understand the evolutionary relationship between humans and apes and how our genetic history is different. .
Second Subfield of Anthropology.
Another subfield of anthropology is archeology. According to Parks, "Archaeologists study the relationship between such artifacts and the cultures that manufactured and used them and then expand their findings to reconstruct past cultural systems"" (p.