Reflectional Symmetry & the Megafauna

Symmetry and the Megafauna

Ninja One – The Word ‘Megafauna’ means giant (mega) animal life (fauna)

Ninja TwoThe diprotodon was a giant wombat. They became extinct about 46 000 years ago.

Giraffe, elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus & whales are all examples of modern megafauna. 

Did you know animal bodies are symmetrical inside? Well sort of 🙂

We will use the megafauna to illustrate this point.

The Symmetry of Bones

Large strong bones are necessary to support the massive weight of these animals. Symmetrical bone structure ensures the body maintains its overall symmetrical shape.

Symmetry of the Internal Organs

Animals have two kidneys and two lungs however this symmetry is only approximate. It is not perfect. There are small differences in size and placement. This type of symmetry is called near symmetry or the technical term is asymmetry.

Animals having two of these organs is more about surviving if one fails.

Symmetry and Muscles

Whilst essentially symmetrical there are small differences. Think about dominance

Skull are asymmetrical

Giant Kangaroos & Wombats

After the extinction of the dinosaurs many animals evolved to be MASSIVE.

Giant wombats known as Diprotodons (di-proto-don) and giant kangaroos like the Procoptodon Goliah roamed Australia.

Ninja 3 – I wonder what megafauna roamed the land where you live now?

symmetry lessons back symmetry lessons home symmetry lessons forward

Just How Big Were the Giant Wombats & Kangaroos?

Diprotodon – These animals grew to be about 3 meters (c. 10 feet) long, 2 meters (c. 6 1/2 feet) tall and weighed around 2600kg. This wombat was a little smaller than a modern day hippopotamus.

Procoptodon – these animals are thought to be the largest kangaroos ever to have lived. Some reached a height of about 2 meters and weighed in at around 200 kg (c.440 pounds).

Ninja 2 – Some scientists believe the evidence shows the diprotodon may have co-existed with aboriginal Australian for around 20 000 years.

Other Interesting Megafauna

Castoroides – CASS-tor-OY-deez Moa Palaeoloxodon was a ground sloth that grew to be as big as an elephant.

beavers the size of bears