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Which Fins are Which

Question: Do all the fins have names?

Answer: Although size and shapes vary most fish have the same basic anatomy, with the major fins in the same places. I did say most fish, because there are some which most certainly do not fit the common profile shown below.

Fish Fins

As I have already noted there can be considerable variation between species, but in general the Caudal (Tail) fin provides most of the forward movement. The Dorsal and Anal Fins provide balance and stability while the Pectoral and Pelvic fins are used for steering and maneuverability. Most fish have the spiny Dorsal final in some shape or other, but in many species the Soft Dorsal or Adipose Fin is very small (as in many of the Tetra family) or missing altogether.

Maroon Clownfish in an Anemone