Web-based Student Activities

symmetry in nature

Symmetry is everywhere you look in nature. If you look at plants and animals, you will find that they have symmetrical body shapes and patterns. If you divide a leaf in half, you will often find that one half has the same shape as the other half.

Below you will find several examples of how butterflies and plants are symmetrical in shape. If you're not sure how this can be, take some time to look at the diagrams below for a primer on symmetry in nature.

Students should be able to:

  • explain where line and radial symmetry occur in nature.

Radial Symmetry

Radial symmetry occurs when a figure, like the flower below, looks the same after it is rotated around a central point less than one complete turn. Take a look at the flower. Imagine drawing a line through the center of the top of the flower through to the bottom and rotating the flower 90ยบ (sort of like turning a steering wheel a quarter turn) on that axis. Would it still look the same?

More Radial Symmetry

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