Human Biological Diversity is an introductory textbook designed to cover the key contemporary topics in the study of human variation and human biology within the field of physical anthropology.

Easily accessible for students with no background in anthropology or biology, this second edition includes two new chapters, one on human variation in the skeleton and dentition and the other on tracing human population affinities. All other chapters have been fully updated to reflect advances in the field and now include pedagogical features to aid readers in their understanding.

Written for an introductory level but still containing valuable information that will be of interest to students on upper-level courses, Brown’s textbook should be essential reading for all students taking courses on human variation, human biology, human evolution, race, anthropology of race, and general introductions to biological/physical anthropology.

chapter Chapter 1|15 pages


chapter Chapter 2|41 pages


Concepts of evolution and genetics

chapter Chapter 3|25 pages

Molecular genetics, genomics, and human genetics

chapter Chapter 4|32 pages

Macroevolution and taxonomy

chapter Chapter 5|38 pages

Race and human variation

chapter Chapter 6|29 pages

Human biological variation in the skeleton and dentition

A window on the past

chapter Chapter 7|26 pages

Genotypic traits

chapter Chapter 8|28 pages

Tracing human population affinities and migrations

chapter Chapter 9|27 pages


Populations, reproduction, and mortality

chapter Chapter 10|27 pages

Life span

Growth and development

chapter Chapter 11|33 pages

Life span

Aging and senescence

chapter Chapter 12|32 pages

Human adaptability to physical stressors

chapter Chapter 13|33 pages

Human adaptability to biological stressors

chapter Chapter 14|33 pages

Human biology in the modern world

chapter Chapter 15|13 pages

Human biological variation

A look to the future and some final thoughts on ethics