Bilateral symmetry is so cool and interesting!

21 Jul

Bilateral symmetry is fascinating!

Today I was wondering about the the tendency of most life to have a division line so that the left side of an organism exactly mirrors the right. Left hand, right hand, left eye, right eye, etc.

Also in ontogeny, the developing fetus “fuses” a left and right side… for example, the philtrum is formed when the maxillary and nasomedial processes ‘fuse’ during development. When this does not occur correctly you end up with Jaquin Phoenix. (Clef palate)

Even in leaves you see a line where the left and right sides are mirrored. So I did some research and came across Bilateral symmetry. (that line that divides the mirror halves is called the sagittal plane)

Bilateral symmetry apparently permits streamlining (great for fishies and birds), allows the development of a central nerve center via cephalization (and holy shit, cephalization is amazing! it’s when all the nerves start to concentrate at one point in the body..this is how the brain evolved and a central nervous system developed), and helps to promote actively mobile organisms. It’s found in Chordates. (we are of the phylum Chordata)

Most of our internal organs like the kidneys, lungs and even the encephalon are symmetrical, while others are not – liver, heart, pancreas for example.

These organs will be found in either the left or right side of the body. There are even some known malformations ( teratogenic ) that cause these asymmetrical organs to be reversed in their position, like Situs Inversus (mirror arrangement of internal organs) or dextrocardia (the heart is on the right side of the chest).

Bilateral symmetry, although prevalent, is not universal in the animal kingdom: echinoderms and cnidarians, for instance, have radial symmetry

But the Prifera have NO symmetry. They are just squishy.



2 Responses to “Bilateral symmetry is so cool and interesting!”

  1. ermamo July 22, 2006 at 2:46 am #

    This is CRAZY because this morning I was thinking about symmetry in humans. (side note – I think about this often b/c humans and nature are my favorite subjects in art) Anyway, I then started imagining what different people’s faces would look like cut in half and mirrored. Your face appeared to me as a particular subject I would like to try this on, especially since you have that oh so direct straight on head shot posted up all over the internet.
    Crazy how the world works – everything spirals. Check out the Golden Ratio or Fibonacci’s Sequence…if you haven’t already.

    • bboyneko July 22, 2006 at 5:58 am #

      yes as a designer i am very familar with the golden ratio

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