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Re: pterodaurs and snakes

Kiran Wagle <groo@netcom.com> wrote: 

>There's also some research that says symmetry is a very important
>consideration in attractiveness, and that more symmetrical animals are
>healthier animals.

>This leads to the speculation that the display is grown because it's
>symmetrical: "Look, not only can I produce an enormous tail, i can produce
>a perfect (symmetrical) enormous tail!"

 I remember research a few years ago that shows, in humans at least, that
symmetry isn't always a desirable trait (I'll try to dig up the ref. on
this). If one side of a person's face is "mirrored" on the other side (by
manipulating a picture by cutting it and making both sides of the face the
"right" side, for instance), researchers found that when this picture was
shown to test observers, the participants reported that
perfectly-symmetrical faces were more somber-appearing and more "boring"
than were faces that were slightly assymmetrical (i.e., "normal" faces).
Somber, boring faces, at least in humans, may not bode well for facilitating