canine reduction and mastication

Thu, 23 Feb 1995 08:24:41 -0400

This thread does bring back memories, only not enough of them! As far
as I know, it was Clifford Jolly who first proposed the idea that
canines were reduced in response to selection for more efficient
chewing. See: Jolly, Clifford J. 1970. The Seed-Eaters: A New
Model of Hominid Differentiation Based on a Baboon Analogy. Man, 5,5.

I vaguely remember that, as Holloway suggests, the model was discarded
when it turned out that there were primate species that combined
seed-eating with large canines. Unfortunately, I can't locate any
references to this part of the story.

(Of course, the New Age explanation for canine reduction is that
individuals with large canines, despite concomitant capacity for
repeated metamorphosis, extreme longevity and incredible ability to
overcome traumatic injury, have largely been wiped out by
heart-seeking stakes and silver bullets.)

Jerry Barkow