Posted: Jul 09, 2014 11:25 pm
by Darwinsbulldog
willhud9 wrote:Gorillas, our second closest ancestor, have enlarged canines to assist with the crushing of the incredibly dense bamboo they eat.

Chimps are omnivores.

Humans are also omnivores, and this is all reflected in our teeth.

But diet isn't everything.

Baboons have 4 large canines and don't eat food that requires canines that large. What gives? The 4 large canines most likely increased their ancestor's survival.

Look at their behavior today, and even gorillas. When threatened they will curl both sets of lips back and bar their teeth....long razor sharp teeth. Predators have to think twice about messing with them.

Which goes to show that its not an either or dichotomy, but rather evolution via natural selection combines a variety of environmental pressures on gene expressions after subsequent generations.

Epistasis only biases outcomes. That means if an animal accumulates a few adaptations towards herbivory or whatever, chances are the trend of acquiring herbivore traits will continue. And don't for get historical contingency. Pandas, being of the carnivore family must have had carnivore ancestors, but then drifted towards omnivore and then a herbivore lifestyle. Besides once acquired, a good set of canines is handy for defense.