|MadSci Network: Evolution|
I'll assume from your mention of dentition that you are sticking with mammals only. I think this is fine because this is the group that is most easily identifiable to a class of first year students and they show the most divergence. Eyesight and dentition are good starts and can be easily shown in a lab setting. Another anatomical difference is in the digestive tract. Carnivores have rather simple digestive tracts with few specialized organs. The cecums/appendices are usually reduced. Because of the high amount of animal fat digested most carnivores have a gall bladder. Because plant material is so diffcult to digest, herbivores usually have very specialized organs such as a four chambered stomach or an enlarged cecum for fermentation. Ruminants, such as cows, we regurgitate and remasticate their food to aid in digestion. Because herbivores take in very little animal fat, they usually have a reduced or absent gall bladder. Because mammals are generally rather similar to one another, I don't think there are going to be many differences between herbivores and carnivores. There will be differences in digestive enzymes between the two groups due to the difference in nutrition. There will most likely be greater differences between the various groups of herbivores because of the great differences in the nutritional quality of various plants. Remember, some plants are poisonous to some organisms, but perfectly edible to others. Carnivores rarely have this problem because all meat is usually edible. Behaviorly, carnivores are generally considered more intelligent. Dogs, cats, bears, and even dolphins are considered very intelligent animals. Even chimpanzees, which are considered the most intelligent animal besides humans, are now known to sometimes hunt smaller monkeys. This heightened intelligence may stem from a predators need to 'problem solve' while hunting and ambushing. Another small difference is in social groups. Some herbivores, such as zebra, gather in very large groups which allows for protection in numbers. Some carnivores, such as canines, form groups, but they are not as large as herbivores. Both herbivores and carnivores can have well structured and highly organized groups.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Evolution.