Dictionary > Asymmetry

Asymmetry

Definition
noun
The lack or absence of symmetry
Supplement
In biology, the body plan of many organisms exhibit symmetry. Although the parts in a dividing plane or around an axis are not exactly the same, there is a significant correspondence in form, size, distribution, or arrangement of parts. Symmetry is observed particularly with regard to the external appearance of organisms. Bilateral organisms exhibit similarities between left and right sides. Radially symmetrical organisms have body plan in which every side is the same around an axis. In contrast, there are organisms lacking external symmetry and are described as asymmetrical. Some of the animals exhibiting asymmetry are flounders and hermit crabs. Adult flounders have both eyes on one side. Hermit crabs have a large claw on one side. In flowering plants, the thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) has irregular, asymmetrical flowers.
It should be noted though that many animals show asymmetry in their internal organs. For instance, the heart and the lungs of humans are asymmetrical. Asymmetry of many internal organs is essential for spatial arrangements.
Synonym(s):

  • dissymmetry

Compare:

  • symmetry
  • Related form(s):

    • asymmetrical (adjective, of or relating to asymmetry; lacking symmetry or proportionality)
    • asymmetry (adjective, of or relating to asymmetry; lacking symmetry or proportionality)


    You will also like...

    Golgi apparatus (3-D illustration)
    Role of Golgi Apparatus & Endoplasmic Reticulum in Protein Synthesis

    The endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are the organelles involved in the translation step of protein synthesis a..

    Plant Auxins
    Plant Auxins – Phototropism & Geotropism

    Plants produce hormones to regulate their growth. Auxins, for instance, influence plant growth. Know the role of auxin i..

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    green plant cells
    Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

    Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

    Digestion and Absorption of Food
    Digestion and Absorption of Food

    The gastrointestinal system breaks down particles of ingested food into molecular forms by enzymes through digestion and..

    Still Water Animals
    Still Water Animals

    Animals living in aquatic habitats have diversified and evolved through time. They eventually occupy ecological niches a..