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It certainly is found in nature,
Yes definitely. Natural processes can produce particular forms, patterns, ratios etc. hexagonal beehive cells, sunflower seed ratios, snowflake patterns etc etc
the female leg (the two components: thigh to knee, and knee to ankle) being good examples of the Golden Section.
Very unlikely, not least because there are no very definitive points between which you would take the measurements. In other words you could make the theory fit if you tried hard enough.
I'll check on her indoors if she nods off later.
Making the theory fit the drawing:
In building and architecture the most common ratios are 1;1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:3 etc etc. A brick is approx 3:4:9
Doesn't do to try to make something mystical out of it, but on the other hand music and harmony are firmly related to simple ratios of frequencies, fretted string lengths etc etc.
Or in other words - if you look for them you will find them.
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is it purely for aesthetics or is there a functional / structural reason to use the ratio?
It's all about 'efficiency'. Nature finds the best (most efficient) means of doing any job.

In the case of (say) a sunflower head, the way that the seeds are arranged (following the Fibonacci series) packs the maximum number into the available space.

The 'Golden Ratio' is just a human concept taking what nature does and providing a useful 'Number' with which to emulate.

Using the Fibonacci series, after the 40th iteration the ratio between adjacent numbers is stable at 1.61803398874989 - within the limits of M$ Excel !!