Chủng tộc thường dùng để chỉ những phân loại của con người trong quần thể hoặc dựa vào nhóm tổ tiên, trên cơ sở tập hợp khác nhau của đặc tính di truyền. Những đặc điểm lý học thường thấy là những đặc điểm nổi bật về thị giác như màu da, sọ hoặc các đặc tính của khuôn mặt và kiểu tóc. Khái niệm về chủng tộc có thể khác nhau ở nhiều quốc gia, theo sự thay đổi theo các nền văn hóa cụ thể. Ví dụ, tại Hoa Kỳ thuật ngữ này được sử dụng trong các mô tả cá nhân (ví dụ như trắng (white), đen (black), v.v), trong khi ở Ý nó chỉ áp dụng cho một số ít các loài được thuần hóa, và do đó không áp dụng cho động vật hoang dã hoặc cho con người. Cụm từ chủng tộc được sử dụng trong phân loại học như là một phân loài.
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