Q:

What is symmetry in nature?

A:

Quick Answer

Symmetry in nature is the balanced distribution of complementary parts of the natural world. This balanced distribution is exemplified in the bilateral symmetry of most vertebrae, whose left and right sides are mirror images of one another.

Know More

Full Answer

Over millions of years, the human brain has evolved a robust pattern recognition system that allows it to detect natural symmetry. There are far more ways to arrange a structure asymmetrically than there are symmetrically, leading scientists to postulate different reasons for the prevalence of this seemingly unlikely trait. The bilateral symmetry present in the most developed branches of the animal kingdom has been attributed to the ease of spatially coordinating the motor functions of such a body through a central nervous system. This ease of orientation could have provided early bilateral ancestors with an evolutionary advantage that allowed them to survive better than their asymmetrical counterparts.

Another theory has attributed bilateral symmetry to the sexual preference of opposite genders to members possessing the most symmetrical features. Studies have indicated that throughout the animal kingdom, birds, insects and mammals all tend to favor mates with the most symmetrical features, such as tail feathers or wing patterns. Even the perception of human facial beauty is strongly linked with the symmetry of facial features.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the differences between radial and bilateral symmetry?

    A:

    Symmetry is defined as portions that are the same around a fixed central point. Radial symmetry is symmetry around a central axis. Bilateral symmetry is symmetry about the two halves around a fixed point.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the largest single cell?

    A:

    The largest cells found in nature are ostrich eggs. Before fertilization, the entire interior of the egg consists of a single cell, which can weigh up to 5 pounds. The largest single-celled organism is an animal called Syringammina fragilissima, which can grow to a width of 4 inches.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the shapes of bacteria?

    A:

    There are five primary shapes of bacteria found in nature: coccus, spirillum, vibria, bacillus and spirachaetes. These shapes can be found in a variety of configurations that help identify the bacterial species.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a structural protein?

    A:

    Structural proteins are fibrous proteins, and they are the most abundant proteins found in nature. Collagens, fibronectins and laminins are all different types of structural proteins that are used in cell culture applications as attachment factors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore