Bilateral symmetry is very present in the animal kingdom and scientists and researchers are still trying to figure out whether or not it’s more advantageous to have high lateral symmetry as a living organism or radial symmetry, and it’s unlikely that this debate will be settled anytime soon.
We are going to take some time below to outline the pros and cons of bilateral symmetry, helping to illustrate the different advantages and disadvantages that this symmetry type has to offer those in the animal kingdom.
Let’s dive right in!
List of Pros of Bilateral Symmetry
1. A “backup system” of critical organs.
Of all the different advantages that bilateral symmetry brings to the table, the “backup system” of critical organs and bodily systems is most impressive.
If one organ fails you’ll still be able to rely on a backup in the form of an exact duplicate, even if the actual impact of that organ is somewhat lessened.
2. An easier process for the body to grow thanks to a simplified structure.
Structures that are simple to replicate and duplicate – such as a simplified bilateral symmetry system – are going to have a much easier time developing from a technical and biological standpoint. “Mirrored copies” are a lot easier to replicate and those that have unique characteristics throughout.
3. Effortless ability to balance without extreme concentration.
One of the reasons that humans have been able to walk upright and develop as rapidly as they have been able to has a lot to do with bilateral symmetry. Asymmetrical systems will not be able to balance as effortlessly, and that’s going to hinder progress.
List of Cons of Bilateral Symmetry
1. Little diversity.
The biggest disadvantage of bilateral symmetry is the fact that there is so little diversity in the structure, which makes it a big problem as far as evolution and adaptability is concerned. When diversity is the lessened in the animal kingdom the overall structure begins to break down and the great, and even if there are environmental factors that work to improve evolution and advancement a lack of diversity can slow things down to a standstill.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of advantages (and very few disadvantages) to having bilateral symmetry as a living organism. A lot of the really unique things that we are able to do as human beings is only possible thanks to our bilateral symmetry!