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Polymorphisms, particularly genetic variants of the red blood cell, have served as a major focus for the research of Frank B. Livingstone over the course of a long and productive career. Recent investigations confirm the value of key insights that he contributed to this area more than four decades ago. As Livingstone recognized, the same underlying evolutionary model that guides genetic studies in present populations also provides a productive framework for interpreting patterns of variation in the skeleton and dentition throughout past human evolution. Examples explored in detail here include polymorphisms in hominoid nasal bone shapes and fourth lower premolar roots. This work provides both empirical and theoretical contexts for investigating patterns of human variation over the last 6 to 8 million years.