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When it comes to anything that can be called “evolution” …

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File:Hydropotes inermis stuffed.JPG
Chinese water deer, w. fangs
In “Archaeologists discover saber-toothed vegetarian” (Washington Post, March 24, 2011), Randolph E. Schmid reports,

The research team notes that large saber-shaped canine teeth are unexpected in a plant-eating animal. They say the enormous teeth may have been for self-defense or for battling for territory or females.

But a friend notes that wholly herbivorous musk deer and Chinese water deer – especially males – have such teeth today,, instead of antlers. Accounts differ as to how they are used – scraping vegetation, attracting attention, or fights over territory. But the “vampire deer” is with us yet.


One Reply to “When it comes to anything that can be called “evolution” …

  1. 1
    Barb says:

    Gorillas also have large teeth and they’re primarily plant eaters as well.

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