top of page
BANC-101: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

BANC-101: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BANC-101 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Introduction to Biological Anthropology, you have come to the right place. BANC-101 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BSCANH courses of IGNOU.

Looking to download all solved assignment PDFs for your course together?

BANC-101 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BANC-101/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BANC-101

Assignment Name: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all the questions in all the three sections.


Section –I


Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Explain how Anthropology is a holistic/ integrated discipline. Discuss the aim and scope of Biological anthropology.

Ans) Anthropology examines the whole person. Everything we know about humans and their activities is gathered here. The four-field approach of anthropology includes physical, social, archaeological, and linguistic anthropology. Each of these four sub-disciplines helps us understand human behaviour in the past and present. Unlike history or biology, anthropology takes a holistic approach to human life. Anthropology attempts to study all aspects of human culture and society holistically. It starts with an evolutionary overview of Homo sapiens and ends with a look at the species' variations. It then tries to comprehend the emergence and diversification of culture and civilization. Anthropology is a multidisciplinary field that studies culture, biology, history, and the environment. Anthropologists are fascinated by human origins and evolution. They want to know how the environment affects culture and how culture affects human growth. Anthropologists study human variation and try to understand it. They're both fascinated by reconstructed human history.


Aim of Biological Anthropology

The term "old physical anthropology" refers to the subject's descriptive stage, which is defined by anthropometric measurements, index classification, and statistics computation. This approach with a focus on taxonomy remained static until genetics and its applications in the explanation of evolutionary theory emerged; thus, the goal of old physical anthropology was primarily classification, with the assumption that a description of the differences would suffice to solve the problem. On the other hand, the new physical anthropology is more concerned with understanding the problem's processes and mechanisms, with classification playing a minor role. As a result, the new physical anthropology picks up where the old one leaves off, with the same goals and interests, though the emphasis is on reorientation in methodology, comprehension, and interpretation. Physical anthropology answers the questions of who the ancestors of the human species were and how they evolved into their current form. They determine the various stages and mechanisms during the evolutionary process. In order to gain a better understanding of modern man, human palaeontologists reconstruct the skeletons of extinct species that may have been our forefathers. Paleoanthropologists use the fossil record and what can be determined through comparative anatomy to study the evolution of primates and hominids.


Scope of Biological Anthropology

Human diversity is a subset of physical anthropology that considers human taxonomy, which is the anthropological study of races. Mutation, gene recombination, chromosomal alterations, isolation, genetic drift, social selection, and other factors can all be used to study the genetic diversity found among different racial groups. Human population classification based on race, ethnic groups, isolates, mendelian populations, or endogamous groups, as well as differences in phenotypic and genotypic character frequencies. Aside from anatomy, physiology, and ethology, the stage of evolution, particularly the 'prehuman' history of man to his current form, is the foundation of primatology. The importance of extinct primate palaeontology in tracing the origins of man and his evolution under palaeoanthropology cannot be overstated. Human evolution's main goal is to reconstruct the ancestral form and understand the evolutionary processes and mechanisms that led to the creation of the erect walking, bipedal brainy creature that creates tools. This is accomplished by comparing and contrasting the biological distinctiveness of living and extinct nonhuman primates with that of living and extinct humans. All living populations on the planet share a common ancestor, regardless of morphometric variation. This will require contributions from primatology, primate palaeontology, palaeoanthropology, and comparative anatomy.


Q2) Describe Human variation and adaptation in context of subfield of biological anthropology.

Ans) From a scientific standpoint, anthropology is the study of humanity. The primary goal of anthropology is to aid in the understanding of human biological and cultural diversity, as well as human origins. As a result, anthropologists study humans from all over the world, whether they are modern or ancient. Anthropologists are unique in that they study humanity's entire history across time and space.


Human Variation and Adaptation of Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropologists believe that evolutionary factors such as mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, and natural selection are responsible for human variation. All organisms must maintain normal internal organs, tissues, and cells in the face of a constantly changing environment in order to survive. Even on a single, seemingly uninteresting day, there are numerous variations in temperature, wind, solar radiation, humidity, and other factors. Physiological mechanisms are also strained as a result of physical activity. To maintain internal consistency, or homoeostasis, the body must compensate in some way for each of these changes. An adaptation is a trait that improves the survival or reproduction of organisms with it when compared to other traits (especially the ancestral condition in the population in which the adaptation evolved). Many biologists define an adaptation as a characteristic that has evolved through natural selection because it is the only known mechanism for adaptation evolution.


Human adaptations can be divided into three categories:

  1. Acclimatization is a term that refers to a short-term biological change, such as increased disease resistance.

  2. Genetic change refers to long-term biological changes such as mutation.

  3. Changes that are not biological, such as technological advancements.


Acclimatization is a physiological response to temporary, long-term, or even permanent changes in the environment. Some of these responses to environmental factors are influenced by genes, while others are influenced by exposure duration and severity, technological buffers (such as shelter or clothing), individual behaviour, weight, and overall body size. A temporary and rapid adjustment to a change in the environment is the most basic form of acclimatisation. The process of acclimatisation is similar to that of tanning. The tan fades as sun exposure are reduced. In this case, the physiological change is only temporary.


Unlike acclimatisation, genetic adaptations last for many generations. These changes are caused by long-term exposure to a genetic stressor or mutations. The most common consequence of genetic changes is environmental adaptation. In one environment, these genetic adaptations or changes may be beneficial, but in another, they may be harmful. Genetic adaptation can be seen in the size and shape of the human body as a result of changes in altitude and temperature.


Cultural changes refer to non-biological changes in sociocultural traits. Depending on the circumstances, cultural changes, like genetic changes, can be more or less adaptive. Technology plays a critical role in mediating socio-cultural changes that take place on multiple scales and through multiple processes. If there is a cultural equilibrium, these cultural shifts have the potential to disrupt it. A game-changing cultural innovation, such as the shift from foraging to agriculture, could allow a population to feed many more people, resulting in a shift in population size.


Section – II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x2


Q1) Write short notes on any two of the following


Q1. i) Modern synthetic theory

Ans) As a result of the development of population genetics, a framework for integrating genetics into natural selection emerged. As a result, mutationism faded from favour, giving way to the modern synthetic theory. By the middle of the twentieth century, evolutionary biologists had universally accepted this integration, and the synthetic theory had gained widespread acceptance. In contrast to Weismann and Wallace's Neo-Darwinian concept, the Synthetic Theory incorporated facts from fields such as genetics, systematics, and palaeontology. As a result, "Neo-Darwinian theory" and "Synthetic Theory" should not be used interchangeably.


Modern Synthetic Theory proponents focused on the population rather than the individual. Natural populations were discovered to have a significant amount of genetic variation, which could be exploited by selection. As a result, the population was diverse enough to account for evolutionary genetic change over time and space.


The following aspects of contemporary synthetic theory were examined:

  1. Mutation is the foundation of modern synthetic theory. These happen at random and provide evolutionary fuel by introducing genetic diversity.

  2. Migration, the founder effect, random genetic drift, and hybridization are among the other factors.

  3. In 1942, Mayr proposed the concept of "biological species," which was later dubbed "synthetic theory."

  4. Speciation, according to Dobzhansky, is a "phase of the evolutionary process (at which) forms become incapable of interbreeding." As a result, various mechanisms for pre- and post-mating isolation have been proposed.


Small genetic changes (“mutations”) and recombination, as well as natural selection's ordering of this genetic variation, can be used to explain gradual evolution. The observed evolutionary phenomena, particularly macro-evolutionary processes and speciation can be explained using genetic mechanisms that are well understood.


Q1. ii) Primate evolutionary trends

Ans) Although the focus of this unit is on human and non-human primates' comparative anatomy, a brief overview of primate evolutionary trends is useful. Because we and our close relatives have remained quite generalised as an order, primates are difficult to distinguish structurally as a group. Primates are distinguished by their extreme structural specialisations, as opposed to rodents' specialised dentition or artiodactyls' specialised limbs with greatly reduced digits. As a result, no single anatomical feature can be applied exclusively and universally to primates. On the other hand, there is a set of evolutionary trends that, to a greater or lesser extent, characterise the entire order. Keep in mind that these are not synonyms for progress, but rather a collection of general tendencies. The term "trend" only refers to a set of shared characteristics in evolutionary terms. Order's limbs and locomotion, teeth and diet, as well as sense, brain, and art behaviour, all share a common evolutionary history with similar adaptations to common environmental challenges.


Limbs and Locomotion

  1. Pentadactyl have five digits in their hands and feet.

  2. Instead of claws, there are nails.

  3. Hands and feet that are both flexible and prehensile.

  4. A tendency to stand tall.

  5. The clavicle is retained.


Teeth and Diet

  1. A common dental pattern, especially in the back teeth (molars).

  2. Dietary specialisation is lacking. This characteristic is usually linked to a change in tooth pattern.


Senses, Brain and Behaviour

  1. A reduction in the snout and, as a result, a proportionate reduction in the brain's smell areas.

  2. With the elaboration of visual areas of the brain, there is a greater emphasis on vision. A decrease in the reliance on smell is a trend. Colour vision is most likely present in all primates, with the exception of a few specialised nocturnal forms.

  3. The brain is expanding and becoming more complex.


Answer any two of the following questions in about 150 words each. 5x2


Q1) UNESCO Statement on Race

Ans) UNESCO’s Statement of Race are as follows:

  1. While scientists disagree on when and how different human groups diverged from this common stock, they agree that all men are members of a single species, Homo sapiens, and descend from it. In anthropology, "race" refers to human groups that have distinct physical differences from other groups.

  2. Some physical differences between human groups are due to hereditary differences, while others are due to environmental differences. In many cases, both influenced each other.

  3. These groups' cultural characteristics have been shown to be unrelated to racial characteristics.

  4. Anthropologists have classified human races in various ways. Most people agree that the majority of humanity can be divided into three major groups.

  5. The majority of anthropologists no longer try to classify humans by mental traits.

  6. The available scientific evidence does not support the conclusion that inherited genetic differences are a major factor in determining cultural differences.


Q2) What are the major stages of growth? Describe in brief.

Ans) Major Stages of Growth are as follows:


A baby is an infant for the first year of life. During their first year, babies develop lifelong skills. Gross motor skills include head control, crawling, and sitting.



After one year, a child's growth slows significantly. Toddlers grow in mobility and exploration. Around the age of six, children develop a better sense of right and wrong.



9- and 10-year-olds become more independent and may start to notice the physical changes associated with puberty. A major growth spurt may occur during sexual development.


Between the ages of 12 and 18, children's minds and bodies change dramatically. It is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence is the time between puberty and sexual maturity, or the ability to reproduce.



To be considered an adult, a person must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school.


Section – III


Answer the following questions in the about 250 words 10x3=30


Q1) Enlist the instruments used in somatometry with any one in detail.

Ans) Different types of instruments are used in somatometry to take measurements of various types on various parts of the body. Various anthropologists have created various instruments.

The most commonly used instruments are:

  1. Spreading Caliper

  2. Sliding Calipers

  3. Anthropometer

  4. Rod Compass

  5. Head-Height Needle

  6. Parallelometer

  7. Tape

  8. Skin Fold Caliper.


Spreading Caliper used in Somatometery

The spreading calliper is made up of two long arms, the upper half of which is curved outwards and the other half's ends are screwed together so that the free parts of the arm can move freely. The middle of one of the arms is fixed to one end of the straight scale, leaving the other end free. The scale is connected to the other arm via a socket. Small knob-like structures or pointed ends are provided at the free ends of the two long arms. The first type is used to take body measurements, while the second type is used to take skeleton measurements. The scale is graduated in proportion to the distance between the curved arms' two free ends. This instrument is used to take measurements on curved areas such as the head, face, and so on.


There are two sizes of spreading callipers. The larger one is known as a Pelvimeter, and it is commonly used to measure the pelvic region.


Q2) Enumerate the precautions while measuring weight and stature.

Ans) The following precautions should be taken when measuring weight and stature:

  1. The scales must be zeroed before the client steps on them.

  2. Request that the client empty their pockets of any "heavy" items, as well as any heavy clothing or apparel.

  3. Make a note of the client's condition and the time of testing so that any subsequent tests can be done in the same manner.

  4. When weighing a client, tell them to keep their eyes straight ahead and their weight on the scales still.

  5. Wait for the needle/digital screen to settle before recording the measurement.


A ‘drop down' tape measure fixed at about 2 metres on a wall or a specific piece of measuring equipment, such as the one shown adjacent, should be used to take height measurements. Without this equipment, a reliable measurement could be taken by marking a point (the top of the client's head) against a wall and measuring up to it.

  1. Before taking the measurement, have your client take off their shoes.

  2. Request that your client stand with their back to the wall and look straight ahead. The wall should be in contact with the backs of their feet, calves, bottom, upper back, and back of their head.

  3. They should be placed directly beneath the measuring device that drops down.

  4. Record the measurement by lowering the measuring device until it gently rests on the top of your client's head.


Q3) Record somatoscopic observation on hair form and skin colour of 10 people.

Ans) Somatoscopic observation on hair form and skin colour of 10 people:


Australian Albondigas and Papuan

Eyes: Black, Dark brown.

Nose: Very broad nose.


American Indian

Eyes: Black, Dark brown.

Nose: Mesorrhine nose.


Pacific Islands

Eyes: Black, Brown.

Nose: Mesorrhine nose.



Eyes: Black

Nose: Broad and flat in shape.



Eyes: Black, Dark brown.

Nose: Prominent nose.



Eyes: Black.

Nose: Wide range of variations.



Eyes: Grey colour eyes.

Nose: Fine to median nose.


100% Verified solved assignments from ₹ 40  written in our own words so that you get the best marks!
Learn More

Don't have time to write your assignment neatly? Get it written by experts and get free home delivery

Learn More

Get Guidebooks and Help books to pass your exams easily. Get home delivery or download instantly!

Learn More

Download IGNOU's official study material combined into a single PDF file absolutely free!

Learn More

Download latest Assignment Question Papers for free in PDF format at the click of a button!

Learn More

Download Previous year Question Papers for reference and Exam Preparation for free!

Learn More

Download Premium PDF

Assignment Question Papers

Which Year / Session to Write?

Get Handwritten Assignments

bottom of page