Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Palaeoanthropology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1812

Palaeoanthropology is also known as fossil anthropology, and it is a branch of physical anthropology. It is the study of the fossils of primates (including human fossils), the patterns of human origin and development, the relationships between fossil apes and modern apes and human beings, and the changes and patterns of the physical characteristics of humans during their development. Because fossils are the main focus of palaeoanthropology, this subject is an important branch of palaeontology. It is also closely related to subjects such as animal taxonomy, comparative anatomy, anthropotomy, anthropogenetics, Quaternary geology and taphonomy. Palaeoanthropology also studies the tools and artefacts made by ancient humans and other relics of their life and of the associated animals and plants. Based on these items and palaeogeographic, palaeoclimatic and geochronologic data, this subject also explores the pattern of social development of ancient humans. From this perspective,...

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