We humans have a dental formula (a numerical device that indicates the number of each type of tooth in each side of the upper and lower jaws) of 220.127.116.11. over 18.104.22.168. What this means is when taking half the mouth we have two incisors, one canine, two premolars, and three molars on both our upper and lower jaw (image below). While we have that dental formula, new world monkeys (apes that have prehensile tails), have 22.214.171.124. over 126.96.36.199. Now notice how I said new world monkeys and not all primates. Other than new world monkeys, the rest of the primate family (old world monkeys, apes) have the same dental formula.
Primates have always seen a resourceful, and when we were evolving we had to be more so. Animals that have one food source did not, and still do not get a long very well. Whether it is caused by drought, or more recently, humans. In our evolutionary story we lived through all types of temperates ( including ice ages), in which we had to adapt or die. When living in a temperate climate we had all kinds of fruits to choose from, but as it got colder we had no choice but to take up hunting and thus eating meat (I think that because we lived though several ice ages and began eating meat is a main reason we have fire.). Even though all primates have the ability to eat both vegetation and meat, only a few of us eat meat. For example, even though they look like they would, gorillas are vegetarian and depending on their location, they also eat termites and ants. On the other side, our closest ape relative, the chimpanzee, has a diet like ours, eating birds and smaller apes (sometimes baby chimpanzee's and even human babies).
It is interesting to think how our teeth would have looked like if we were exclusively eating meat from the start. The eating of raw meat might be why chimpanzee's have sharper teeth than humans. Something I found interesting while looking up on this subject is that we are currently in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago. Who knows, in another million years (that is if we do not go extinct), we may get those carnivorus teeth.
Please feel free to comment on what you thought of the blog, or other physical anthropological subjects you would like me to cover.