Line Symmetry in Birds

Birds have bilateral symmetry. This means the left and right sides of their body can be divided into an almost exact mirror image of each other. The line drawn down the middle of the body to divide the left and right sides is sometimes called the midline or axis.

Why Symmetry?

By having bilateral symmetry birds can fly well.  Imagine what would happen if one wing was bigger or smaller than the other or if it was a completely different shape.

Ninja – Really? Who would have thought 🙂

Symmetry is associated with speed and strength —> fighting ability / protect young. Experiments have been carried out to show female birds prefer more symmetrical mates this is because symmetry is an indicator of ‘good genes’.

Traits nature wants passed onto the young.

Hollow bones.

Symmetry is also a good indicator of health – more symmetrical less susceptible to diseases.

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Interesting fact – the ears of owls are asymmetrical. One ear is higher on the skull than the other. So the can not only tell if something is on their left or right but if it is above or below them. Time for sound to get to ear. Humans and owls can perceive 1 ten millionth of a second.