Canine teeth

(no name) ((no email))
3 Jun 1995 15:04:00 GMT

In the few books that I've read, I've not come across any discussion of the
function of canine teeth. To my knowledge, humans are the only primates
without large canine teeth, certainly if you only consider apes. It looks
like even early Australopithecines did not have extremely large canines, so
I'm assuming that characteristic went away shortly after the split with

Do canine teeth serve a function related to diet, social interactions,
defense against predators, something else, or some combination? Is there a
high correlation between animals with large canines and some aspect of their
lifestyles? Of course, then there's that thing about males usually (always?)
having larger canines that females. I'm interested in any ideas.

Dave B.