Bilateral symmetry – Geometry

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A butterfly thanks to Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to Wikimedia Commons

A shape has bilateral symmetry when it is the same on both sides of a line drawn down the middle. You are (mostly) bilaterally symmetrical, because if I drew a line down through your nose perpendicular to the ground, you’d have one eye, one arm, and one leg on each side of the line. This butterfly has bilateral symmetry too, with one wing and one antenna on each side of the red line.

Some geometric shapes have bilateral symmetry, while others don’t. For example, a square has bilateral symmetry, and so does a circle, and so does a rectangle. An isosceles triangle has bilateral symmetry. But most parallelograms do not have bilateral symmetry. A rhombus does not have bilateral symmetry vertically, but it does if you draw a diagonal line connecting two opposite corners (thanks to Jeffrey Paules for pointing this out!).

Three-dimensional solids can have bilateral symmetry, too. A sphere and a cube both have bilateral symmetry.

Learn by doing: painting bilateral symmetry
Perpendicular
Rectangles
Squares
Circles
Triangles
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Bibliography and further reading about geometry:

   

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By | 2017-07-29T09:57:34+00:00 July 28th, 2017|Biology, Math|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Bilateral symmetry – Geometry. Quatr.us Study Guides, July 28, 2017. Web. November 18, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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