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It has been hypothesized that developmental stability is increased at higher levels of genetic variability (heterozygosity) in animals. However, the existence of this relationship is questionable for homeotherms in general and mammals in particular. The difference between the sides of a bilateral character in an individual is a measure of fluctuating asymmetry that can be used as a measure of the developmental stability of mammals. Increased developmental stability should result in a greater degree of similarity between the right and left side of the body even though environmental variability would tend to increase the differences between right and left sides of the body.